Connecticut’s Democratic Party has endorsed cannabis legalization as part of its platform and calls for the release of nonviolent offenders for crimes relating to the plant.
With Gov. Dannel Malloy, US Sen. Chris Murphy, and other top state party leaders in attendance, more than 1,900 delegates voted on the new party platform to take the Dems into primary season. The Democrats announced the platform on Friday, May 18, 2018, at the state party convention in Hartford, the capital.
Under the criminal justice reform section, the party platform states, “The time for legalization of Marijuana has come. Doing so will raise revenue, which can be used to benefit those suffering from the disease of addiction to prescription pain medications and other opioids.”
According to the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the state experienced 1,038 fatal drug overdoses in 2017, its first year ever to ever enter 4-digit territory — and triple the number of deaths recorded in 2012. The number of fatal overdoses attributed to fentanyl jumped more than 40 percent, from 483 deaths in 2016 to 677 last year.
Connecticut officials have recently taken steps to combat the epidemic, but this is the first time the Democratic party platform has taken such direct aim at the issue, especially while offering that cannabis can help to provide a solution.
However we emerge from the #ctdemconvention everyone should read the new platform. I wrote it so I’m biased but it is unquestionably the most progressive step in CT history
— Kellin Atherton (@KellinAtherton) May 19, 2018
The party nominated a wide range of candidates to the ballot in races for governor and lieutenant governor, US Senate, and more.
The party platform committee first reviews a potential platform outline before putting it up to vote among all the party’s local delegates at the convention, where the party cements its core beliefs, policies, and principal goals.
As far as cannabis legalization, the Democrats plan to follow what they call “best practices” of other states to tackle the issue of cannabis-impaired driving.
Recognizing that far too many people are imprisoned because of the war on drugs, the Democrats say they will aim to “continue its progress as one of the national leaders towards reducing our state prison population.”
The party’s 2018 platform went on to say:
More efforts need to be made on overall sentencing reform to ensure that we are
doing everything we can to avoid the channel of young men of color being sent to prison at
disproportionate rates. We should also take steps to eliminate hurdles that prevent formerly
incarcerated individuals from receiving adequate training, getting good jobs, and voting in our
In the face of violence and discrimination it is critical that a legislative solution be enacted if the citizens of a district feel a state’s attorney is allowing injustice to persevere.
Though Connecticut was the last state to allow minors to participate in the medical marijuana program, Connecticut has loosened restrictions in recent years on medical cannabis, supporting research being done on the plant’s therapeutic value. One is a groundbreaking study on marijuana’s efficacy in treating chronic and acute pain, as well as an effort to cut the circulation of opioid painkillers prescribed to patients.