Designated pot-smoking areas to be required in more populated CT towns, cities once marijuana is legal

Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Designated pot-smoking areas may be required in some Connecticut towns and cities. Included in the new adult recreational marijuana law that goes into effect on July 1 is a requirement for some municipalities to create outdoor spaces specifically intended for getting high.

“We’re following the changes in the state law, which basically allows for the recreational use of marijuana,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker told News 8 Tuesday.

He says his team is working to adjust to the new recreational marijuana law.

One thing is for certain: Smoking around schools and playgrounds is prohibited.

“I think it’s important for the public to know the restrictions around the law because there are places that people aren’t allowed to smoke…The most important thing is to just be respectful,” Mayor Elicker said.

The provision only applies to municipalities that choose to regulate the public use of pot. So, for example, if New Haven chooses to limit the use of recreational marijuana, the city would be required to have an outdoor area designated for pot smoking.

“Our understanding of the law is that in places where smoking cigarettes is prohibited, marijuana will also be prohibited.”

Mayor Elicker told News 8 that informing residents is part of this effort to assess the new law’s impact.

“We’re also looking at and planning on implementing a community conversation on zoning changes and where our community may want to allow or disallow the sale of marijuana.”

Next door in West Haven, Mayor Nancy Rossi says the Zoning Commission has already adapted to new regulations where dispensaries can be located.

In a statement to News 8, she said, “My administration is in discussion with Grow Labs on their interest in getting recreational licensure and operating recreational facilities within West Haven.”

But for now, Mayor Elicker’s administration in New Haven is planning and assessing for potential changes.

“At this point, we are not considering implementing additional restrictions on the smoking of marijuana, so should you choose to do so, can smoke in public areas,” Mayor Elicker said.

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