Legislation to legalize marijuana was passed recently by the Connecticut Joint Committee on General Law.

House Bill 7371 was passed by the committee in a 10 to 8 vote, reports High Times. The measure must now be passed by the full Senate and House before it can go to the governor’s desk.

If the measure is passed into law it would legalize and regulate commercial marijuana cultivation, processing, and sales in the state, while companion measures to tax cannabis and allow for expungements of past convictions are being considered by different committees.

A supporter of the bill,  Democrat Rep. Juan Candelaria, said that regulating marijuana will provide a source of new revenue to benefit residents of the state.

“We have a black market and we stay idle and do nothing, that black market is going to continue to thrive,” said Candelaria. “The opportunity for us to regulate this market and utilize these dollars and really invest them … in addiction care, that goes a long way.”

According to High Times, much of the debate over HB 7371 centered on social equity provisions of the measure that would give members of communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs incentives to

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