As in Connecticut, marijuana legalization spreading across country

Laws and public opinion are shifting on the legalization of marijuana across the country with 40 states, including Connecticut, having proposed or enacted legislation on pot use, according to WestlawNext, an online legal research service.

To date, 24 states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, and another 16 have proposed such legislation, WestlawNext said. Meanwhile, 13 states have proposed or enacted laws related to recreational use of marijuana, with Colorado and Washington signing on in November. Ten states, including New York, have no such laws for either medicinal or recreational use of the drug.

These state laws conflict with federal law, which considers the drug illegal. However, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in August that the federal government will not try to pre-empt state marijuana laws as long as they are strictly enforced.

Among WestlawNext’s findings:

•   13 states, including Connecticut, have proposed or enacted legalization.

•   Three states, including Rhode Island, have commissioned studies to analyze the impact of legalization.

•   21 is the recommended age for legal use of marijuana across the board

•   Taxation varies amongst proposed legislation from 15 percent in New Hampshire to 25 percent in Nevada and $50 per ounce in Maine