Senate narrowly votes to legalize marijuana in ConnecticutPosted by On


MARK PAZNIOKAS :: CTMIRROR.ORG

From left, Vinnie Mauro, the chief of staff, and Sens. Gary Winfield, John Kissel and Martin Looney watch the final tally.

With an unexpectedly close 19-17 vote, the Senate passed legislation early Tuesday that would legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut, sending the bill to a closely divided House of Representatives on the penultimate day of the legislature’s 2021 session.

It was unclear if the House had the votes, time or inclination to attempt final passage before the constitutional deadline of midnight Wednesday, a task that grew more difficult Monday with concerns over attempted favoritism on licensing growers.

“We’ll make the time,” said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, who led the working group that produced the bill and watched the denouement of an oddly tense and protracted vote in the Senate.

Only the vote cast by a retired police officer, Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, saved the Senate from needing Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to break a tie. Six Democrats voted with the other 11 Republicans in opposition.

But for 11 minutes after the debate ended and voting began, passage was unclear. The tally was 16-16, with four Democrats missing: Steve Cassano of Manchester, Douglas McCrory of Hartford, Patricia Billie Miller of Stamford and Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport.

Moore voted yes, making the tally 17-16 after nearly eight minutes. McCrory, who was furious at the Senate for striking a…

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MARK PAZNIOKAS :: CTMIRROR.ORG

From left, Vinnie Mauro, the chief of staff, and Sens. Gary Winfield, John Kissel and Martin Looney watch the final tally.

With an unexpectedly close 19-17 vote, the Senate passed legislation early Tuesday that would legalize recreational marijuana in Connecticut, sending the bill to a closely divided House of Representatives on the penultimate day of the legislature’s 2021 session.

It was unclear if the House had the votes, time or inclination to attempt final passage before the constitutional deadline of midnight Wednesday, a task that grew more difficult Monday with concerns over attempted favoritism on licensing growers.

“We’ll make the time,” said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford, who led the working group that produced the bill and watched the denouement of an oddly tense and protracted vote in the Senate.

Only the vote cast by a retired police officer, Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, saved the Senate from needing Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to break a tie. Six Democrats voted with the other 11 Republicans in opposition.

But for 11 minutes after the debate ended and voting began, passage was unclear. The tally was 16-16, with four Democrats missing: Steve Cassano of Manchester, Douglas McCrory of Hartford, Patricia Billie Miller of Stamford and Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport.

Moore voted yes, making the tally 17-16 after nearly eight minutes. McCrory, who was furious at the Senate for striking a…



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