Hartford is in need of help.
We all understand that there is a dark side of politics that no one really likes to talk about. The so called “closed door agreements” which may or may not happen, or the little “give and take” that they say is needed in order to things progressing. By now, it may be safe to assume that everyone has heard of the Netflix show “House of Cards,” so you may know the activity I’m eluding too. Recently, I was disappointed to see that prohibitionist rhetoric is still very much alive and active within the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. While I can understand that the average person can be misinformed, personally I could potentially turn a blind eye and give someone a break for not understanding the true complexity of a situation. My personal belief is that we should hold all people in positions of power to a higher standard than the rest. Leaders are supposed to be leaders, not followers. If this type of behavior is accepted in a public setting or on record, just imagine the type of environment that is being promoted behind closed doors.
It is possible that I may be the only person that thinks that leaders should lead by example, while still understanding that no one is perfect. Even children are able to identify that the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality is fundamentally flawed. Maybe it is a result of the way I was raised, which is to respect others, to give people the benefit of the doubt, and to treat others as I would like to be treated. It is sad to say that these very simplistic morals are not shared by some legislators in Hartford, specifically those considered to be senior members of congress.
During last week’s General Law Committee hearing pertaining to Raised House Bill No. 5458, there were some outlandish claims made by a senior senator. The claims he was sprouting as truth were anything but factual. Personal opinions do not equal facts. Do legislators in Hartford understand the importance of their elected office? These individuals are admired and held in high regard by the public. There are adolescents that look up to these elected officials for guidance and inspiration. It is not hard to understand why legislators are looked as role models from the eye of our youth. They are supposed to be the pillars of our communities. When using their platform as a legislator, they should understand that people are impressionable and it is important for them, as leaders, to be well informed and speak based on facts..
I don’t feel that I should have to remind the legislators in Hartford that they are elected officials. They hold office because people in their district have placed their faith in these individuals to get a job done, not only morally, but ethically as well. The actions of a few individuals are ruining the establishment. It’s easy to blame the governor, which a lot of people seem to be doing, but let’s not forget that in reality it is not a single person’s fault for the situations we face today in Connecticut. No one can honestly fault a single party for our woes either as it was group effort. It could be easier to identify those of senior leadership to be the cause of our stalled progression as a state. There are some individuals that hold office and refuse to acclimate or attempt to understand the fundamental flaws in our society simply because they have been doing it a certain way for a long time. Power is easy to abuse when you can leverage seniority over junior members. This type of mentality is hindering our growth.
Legislators should be on notice; they can and should be held accountable for their actions as well as their statements. We should not continue to place people in positions of power who continuously lie, steal and cheat the residents of Connecticut. If a senator or representative wants to openly lie and spit propaganda in a public hearing while on public record, they need to be held accountable. The educational period for legislators is over. We have all spent the time and effort in previous sessions to help assist with the knowledge exchange between advocates and politicians. It should be concerning that we still have politicians who refuse to listen, who sit idly by, and who do not fulfill the obligations they were elected to perform.
In the past, just the thought of politics to me was like the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Then, for some strange reason a few years ago I found myself driven to become a part of the establishment. I did not wake up one morning, sit down to breakfast and miraculously decide politics was my calling, but it may have been the same unconscious drive that had guided me towards military service. However one thing was for sure, I have a disdain for people who abuse an opportunity and for those who display a lack of respect towards the office in which they serve. Why would anyone want to be a part of an establishment that allows individuals to act irresponsibly and without accountability? These characteristics normally don’t get you far in the real world.
You may be wondering what can be done during this legislative session? Just talking about our problems isn’t enough to solve them so we should start with a simple idea. The best course of action is to be candid and ask questions. Examples could be: Would you vote “Yes” to legalize recreational cannabis this session? Where do our representatives stand?
For legislators, I hope this is not just a show. Elections are quickly approaching and this is a big ticket opportunity for a win and much needed change towards relief. There is a need for more than just words. We as a state need action and solutions. Discussions may not be enough to get certain individuals re-elected. Integrity needs to start from within
Connecticut can tax recreational consumption and production, allow home grow of 6 plant per adult and 12 plants per household as well as the ability to gift one ounce of raw flower and other products. Legislators shouldn’t overwrite the law. Knowing that too many unnecessary restrictions and inflated taxes will only hurt the industry and continue to encourage potential criminal activity. There are multiple examples that can prove over regulation can cause government policies to fail. There is no need to regulate home grows, like there are no regulations for home brewing or distilling. Home grows are meant for personal consumption. A simple suggestion could be, if an individual(s) is found to obtain more plants than what is allowed by law in a household, then that person should be issued a ticket and required to pay a fine. Regulations should be required for only selling and growing of commercial products.
We have an opportunity to do something historic in this state. We can correct the prohibition of cannabis and provide new opportunities at a time when we need it the most. Who are going to be the leaders we need?
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” – Chinua Achebe
Let’s work together to give Connecticut a chance to be prosperous.
P.S. I almost forgot to mention that there is no proof that drug dealers in Connecticut are crushing up opiates or fentanyl to hook and trick cannabis users. They are not putting opiates into joints. Why would they? They stand to make more money just selling the opiates on their own. I guess that logic wasn’t clear to a certain senator.