Date(s) - 03/22/2017 - 03/24/2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 am
CT Legislative Office Building
It has been reported that there will be a second public hearing on marijuana legalization in the CT legislature, this time on SB 11 in the Judiciary Committee. Media reports say it will be on Wednesday, 3/22; it will likely begin around 10am.
We will post details as they are confirmed, but here are the basics for some ways you can help:
– Give oral testimony, in person: members of the public can speak for up to 3 minutes, and lawmakers may then ask you questions. This requires getting there early and staying for most of the day.
– Submit written testimony: you can write a statement and email it in to the committee by their deadline (usually the day before). This does not have to match your oral testimony, and it’s usually better to treat them as two separate things. There is no page limit, so you can include sources and graphics.
– Volunteer with us: Whether or not you are giving testimony, RegulateCT will need volunteers to help hand out stickers, sign up experts from out of state, add people to our supporter list, and assist in other ways.
If you are thinking of submitting oral or written testimony, we would be happy to help you! Just send us a message or post on the wall and we can connect. If you’d like to volunteer on 3/22, please let us know so we can add you to our list.
Since this is the judiciary committee, testimony about the criminal justice aspects of marijuana legalization are the most important to feature. It would be particularly helpful for lawmakers to hear from people who have been arrested or convicted for marijuana crimes, family members who have had a loved one imprisoned for marijuana, medical marijuana patients who have been raided, law enforcement, and academics or other experts on criminal justice policy.
Some key points for testimony:
– Decriminalization is not enough. Our limit is only half an ounce, while in most states it’s twice that. It’s still a felony to grow a single marijuana plant.
– Adults should not be punished for consuming a drug that’s safer than alcohol and tobacco.
– Adults, especially medical marijuana patients, should be able to grow a small number of plants in their own home for their own use.
– Even under decriminalization, people of color are disproportionately targets for tickets for possession.
– Criminal records make it much harder to be a functioning member of society, since it’s more difficult to find housing and employment.
– In Connecticut, felons can’t vote until they are off parole.
– The black market fuels violence by taking away other ways of settling disputes. Marijuana sellers should be able to settle things in court instead of with violence.
– Legalization frees up police resources to focus on more serious crimes.