Committee Adjourns Without Taking Up Pot Bill 
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Committee Adjourns Without Taking Up Pot Bill 
Posted by CN Staff on May 12, 2009 at 11:55:10 PT
By Christopher Keating, The Hartford Courant 
Source: Hartford Courant
Connecticut -- Two highly controversial bills  including the proposed decriminalization of marijuana  suffered setbacks this afternoon when a key legislative commission adjourned without voting.The legislature's finance committee had been expected to on bills that would have decriminalized marijuana for those over 18 and banned smoking at the state's Indian-owned casinos in southeastern Connecticut.
But no votes were taken, though proponents of each measure said the fight is not over, and they predicted further debate on the House and Senate floors before the General Assembly's regular session adjourns June 3.The committee meeting was adjourned in the middle of the debate on the decriminalization of marijuana, which has prompted impassioned arguments on both sides.The marijuana bill has strong support from Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, a New Haven Democrat who controls the agenda in the chamber with Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams.Sen. Eileen Daily, the co-chairwoman of the finance committee, predicted the bill will come up again in the Senate. Along with other lawmakers, she supports the decriminalization "because I think we waste a lot of resources" for law enforcement to prosecute misdemeanor charges for possession of relatively small amounts of marijuana.The bill calls for decriminalizing possession for adults 18 and older who are caught with less than half an ounce of the substance. The possession of small amounts would be an infraction with a maximum fine of $250 that could be paid like a speeding ticket.Looney and others have been pushing hard this year for decriminalization, saying that doing so could save the state more than $11 million in law enforcement costs annually because far fewer people would be sent to state Superior Court to be overseen by prosecutors and probation officials.The casino smoking bill also failed to generate a vote, but the highly influential union that is backing the ban is vowing to move forward.Jack Edwards, a dealer at the Foxwoods casino for more than 12 years, said the setback in the finance committee is not the end of the story."We're not going to quit until we get this bill," Edwards said. "We have to get the casinos to go smoke-free. Our lives depend on it."Source: Hartford Courant (CT)Author: Christopher Keating, The Hartford Courant Published: May 12, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Hartford CourantContact: letters courant.comWebsite: Articles:Capitol Rally Urges Decriminalization Of Marijuana State Legislature Could Decriminalize Marijuana
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 12, 2009 at 13:05:19 PT
CT: Marijuana Bill Goes Up in Smoke
By Ken Dixon, Staff Writer May 12, 2009HARTFORD -- A 1:30 p.m. deadline for action came and went in the Finance Committee this afternoon, killing a bill that would have decriminalized penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The legislative inaction came as a defeat for Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, who wanted to model Connecticut law on a Massachusetts referendum last fall that made possession of small amounts of pot punishable by infraction penalties.URL:
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