Baltic resident Katie McEwan is excited for weed legalization in Connecticut.
“I’m sick of having to drive to Massachusetts,” McEwan said.
Thursday was when Connecticut officially legalized recreational marijuana. People who are 21 or older can hold up to one-and-a-half ounces of marijuana and equivalent cannabis products and have up to five ounces in a locked box at home or in their car in a locked glove box or trunk.
In the future, the legality of marijuana will include retail establishments starting in 2022, and people growing a small number of cannabis plants at home in 2023.
Canterbury resident Kevin Danisevich said it was a good idea because “the people who are smoking have been smoking anyway.” Danisevich believes that Connecticut is handling its legalization process better than other states.
“Governor Lamont seems to have things well in hand,” Danisevich said.
New London resident Chris Casey said he’s excited for the financial potential to eventually come from marijuana sales.
“They’re going to tax it, so the government can make their money, and hopefully the little guy can make some money, too,” Casey said.
However, Casey isn’t a fan of the limits on businesses, which is one grower and one seller per 25,000 residents in a town, and personal growing, which entails three mature and three immature plants for an individual, or 12 per household, in the bill.
“If the big guy can make millions of dollars, the little guy should have the same opportunity,” Casey said.
Norwich resident Connie Heibel occasionally consumes medical marijuana to manage her arthritis, as it helps her with joint inflammation. Heibel is fine with the expansion of marijuana as long as people follow the rules about it, as “there’s pros and cons to every situation.”
“If they go above how much you’re allowed to have, or how much you’re allowed to grow, then they deserve to get arrested and put in jail just like everybody else,” Heibel said.
Another medical marijuana patient, Norwich resident Jon Franzo, said it helps with PTSD and schizophrenia.
“It’s a lot better than taking medication and ODing on pills and it’s safer,” Franzo said.
However, not everyone is a fan of legalization. Norwich resident Veveline Jeanty said she’s against legalization, as she had a cousin who got in a car accident while high.
“That’s not good,” Jeanty said, just learning about the legalization on Thursday.
Jeanty said she doesn’t smoke and she’s OK with cigarettes being legal, even with their risks, but said weed is “a whole other level.”
Colchester resident Linda Jones, a self-described old hippie who has smoked weed for 50 years, understands that opposition is still a constant.
“There’s always going to be an opposition to everything, so I just think the right thing will end up prevailing,” Jones said.