Senate Majority Leader: 'Recreational pot doesn't have a chance this year'

What are the chances Connecticut will legalize marijuana this year? Slim to none, according to state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.

State Sen. Duff (D-25) joined Kate Czaplinski and Josh Fisher this week on CT Pulse to discuss his take on both recreational marijuana and the debate around medical cannabis for children.

Watch the video below.

Duff, who represents Norwalk and Darien, spoke about the bill currently before the General Assembly to legalize recreational marijuana. (See our full interview with Sen. Duff here).

“I don’t think it has a chance this year,” Duff said.

Duff said the legalization of medical marijuana in Connecticut and effort to reduce the penalities for possession of small amounts of marijuana were “uphill battles” and “tough fights”

When it comes to recreational marijuana Duff said, “I don’t think the time has come yet.”

The legislation was proposed by state Rep. Juan Candelaria of New Haven. It would legalize recreational use for adults ages 21 and above.

Nine other Democratic legislators from across the state joined Candelaria in filing a more specific bill regarding marijuana use that included some details such as proper packaging and a ban on marijuana use in public.

However, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said publicly that legalizing marijuana this year would not be the right move for the state.

Later in the interview, Sen. Duff is asked about the push by parents to allow children with serious medical conditions to use medical cannabis. Duff said he would be willing to have the conversation and would like to get input from the medical community.

“I think that is a good debate to have,” he said of medical cannabis for children.

Local parents have been pushing for Connecticut’s medical marijuana law parameters to be expanded, allowing for pediatric use.

The HAN Network spoke with two local mothers last year, See the interview below:


According to a Facebook page “Medical Cannabis 4 Kids in CT,” the groups goals include:

“Sharing our personal stories and struggles with epilepsy and other diseases and complications that would directly be improved by having legal and safe access to medical marijuana.”

The page goes on to say they “We are invested in seeing this legislation pass for *whole plant* access, in oil form to provide safe and easy administration of this medication. The dosing and combination of plant(s) or plant strain(s) will be determined between caregivers, growers and supervising doctors. Just as legally prescribed medications respond and work differently for each unique individual person, so does the cannabis plant.”

CT Pulse, a show that follows politics and news in Connecticut, airs Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. on HAN.Network.