Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to have this hearing and for incorporating individual testimony.
I am in support of SB 487. I know there are many countless others who share this as well.
I want to let you know that Thomas Paine, who wrote the short book Common Sense, which as you know helped spur the American Revolution, was in favor of hemp production and believed hemp was one of the products that could make America strong and keep America independent from outside economic influences. Most textbooks take out this part of his work. I didn’t discover this until I read the complete book. If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. I believe Mr. Paine would find the banning of hemp a travesty and if he were here today, be in favor of this bill.
I don’t know if Mr. Paine knew about marijuana or cannabis, I can’t ask. Yet I do believe he would find what we are doing today in banning plants a travesty. Marijuana and hemp are that: plants. The banning of plants is incomprehensible. I’ve heard every argument from many people about why marijuana needs to be banned and I don’t get it. Hemp as well. Early Americans used hemp for rope, clothing, and everyday items. America would not be America without the hemp ropes used to build the ships that sailed before metal was able to be processed securely.
Do we really need to sit here and debate about THC, reefer madness, gateway drugs, self-medication, and processing ad nauseam? Marijuana is a plant that has a world of possibilities that we as adults are well aware of. Any substance can be abused and we are well aware of that as adults as well.
Would you rather have the marijuana processed in a clean facility and you know what is in it than processed in someone’s garage or basement? I can tell you from experience as an EMT that many people, even from their “regular” dealers, are sold marijuana laced with substances they don’t know about.
Are people afraid to admit to their own use? Afraid to admit that their children may be using? I know I would rather be out in the open than hiding. Wouldn’t you rather be able to monitor what is going into the marijuana before people smoke it or at least give them the options of their own plants? I know if someone told me today I have a disease or sickness where the best alleviation of it is to smoke or intake marijuana due to the THC, I would want to grow my own plants and gladly pay the State to do so. It is small price to pay and cheaper than many prescription options. Or are you afraid of the prescription drug companies? They won’t lose out, they actually serve to benefit in the long run. Many of them already use marijuana in their pills. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Why are you enabling the large dealers, many of whom are white and never see jail time and run enough marijuana to run a small empire and pay no taxes whatsoever ever on their transactions, to continue to do this? Wouldn’t you rather have the money from their transactions, which can run into the millions of dollars, in the State coiffers than in their pockets? Why are you enabling mass incarceration, or are you afraid of all the people who run the prisons here in Connecticut?
Please go out among your constituents and talk with them. Listen to the people here today that have been persecuted when they are trying to take care of themselves. Help bring crime down. Help bring money and common sense into Connecticut.