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Conn. Lawmakers Push To Ease Marijuana Laws

Monday, January 26, 2009

Two Connecticut lawmakers say the state is spending too much money prosecuting people caught with small amounts of marijuana, and they're calling for fines instead of arrests.

State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney and Senator Toni Harp -- both Democrats from New Haven -- hope the state's growing budget deficit will help convince their peers that decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana is a good idea.

Massachusetts did in November, imposing fines on people caught with one ounce or less.

Harvard researchers found that Massachusetts state police had been spending about $30 million a year on arresting and investigating low-level marijuana users.

There's no similar cost estimate for Connecticut.

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