Panel voices high hopes for hemp

By Andrew Giambrone

If Gov. Dannel Malloy gets his way, possessing under one ounce of marijuana will no longer be a crime in the state of Connecticut.

At a conversation sponsored by the Yale College Democrats Monday night in the Branford Common Room, four panelists involved in government and the law discussed the decriminalization of marijuana before an audience of 20 students. Though they agreed that bills currently under consideration would save money for the government and reduce the number of prisoners statewide, each of the speakers said that concerns about appearing to publicly endorse marijuana use might impede decriminalization.

“The laws will only change when public opinion changes,” said Mike Lawlor, Connecticut’s undersecretary of criminal justice policy and planning at the Office of Policy Management. “The sad thing is that we spend more money running prisons than we do public colleges.”

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