As anticipated new Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy as part of today’s budget address proposed decriminalizing marijuana possession in amounts of an ounce or less.
It will be interesting to see what the two new chairman of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee – Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield and Rep. Gerald Fox, D-Stamford – do with Malloy’s proposal.
Fox, formerly a committee vice-chairman, voted against decriminalization in the past. He told me he is open to discussing it but needs a better understanding of how it would be implemented and what it would mean for the state’s overall approach to fighting/treating drug use.
In stark contrast Coleman’s office issued a press release praising Malloy’s proposal.
“It makes far more sense to help nonviolent drug users overcome their addictions through treatment than to imprison them at great cost to the state,” Coleman said. “This is a more just approach to drug treatment, and would save the state millions of dollars every year. Reform of our state’s drug policy is long overdue, and I was very pleased to hear the governor call for it today.”
What might help in this situation is the fact that Malloy and Fox are friends and colleagues because Malloy is the former mayor of Stamford.