Connecticut Looks to Take Steps Towards Legal Pot and Gambling
You're really only a 45 minute to an hour drive away in any part of Connecticut from both legal marijuana and sports betting.
Our neighbors Massachusetts and New Jersey both allow the legal adult consumption of herb and our neighbors Rhode Island and New Jersey both allow adults to place monetary bets on sporting events. Why not here? Why is Connecticut slow to adapt?
On Monday, Ethan Carey wrote an article about how Connecticut lawmakers have reached out to local law enforcement agencies regarding how to accurately measure the level of marijuana in someone operating a motor vehicle. With neighboring states getting ahead of the game in allowing formerly forbidden vices, is Connecticut flying blind?
Not so, according to a report by the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont's administration has already drafted a bill that has put tangible numbers on the proposed taxes on legalized marijuana. Standard sales taxes would be applied, and a surcharge would be added to produce a revenue that would be shared with Connecticut cities and towns. During Governor Lamont's State of the State address on January 6, he said -
I am working with our neighboring states and look forward to working with out tribal partners on a path forward to modernize gaming in our state, as well as the legislature on legalization of marijuana. Sports betting, internet gaming, and legalized marijuana are happening all around us. Let's not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets, or, even worse, underground markets.
Connecticut is taking it's time on legalizing marijuana and lawmakers will have to consider the ramifications of legalization to the criminal records of people that have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes.
According to the Courant, Connecticut stands to rake in a possible $170 million a year from taxation. What does this mean? It doesn't mean that you'll be seeing recreational marijuana dispensaries opening up in former Taco Bell locations around Fairfield County next week, or the local OTB taking action on the Yanks or Giants by spring.
But, I'd say it's more likely we'll see sports betting at Connecticut's two major casinos before legal pot. There are so many safety factors to address for the legalization of a powerful intoxicant. We know Connecticut is thorough and prone to lawsuits. It will be interesting to see how this will play out in the court of public opinion. My father was involved in illegal gambling for a good portion of his life and he loved going to Mohegan Sun. I wish he could have lived to see the day where he could take a 3-teamer legally.