State Sen. Len Fasano and state Rep. Dave Yaccarino joined five other state legislators at the Hamden/North Haven chapter of the League of Women Voters’ Breakfast with the Legislators on Saturday morning, Jan. 21 at the Whitney Center in Hamden.
A large crowd filled the events room to share breakfast with the lawmakers before they took to the stage to answer questions.
The first two questions covered drug issues – the legalization of marijuana and the opioid epidemic.
After state Rep. Robyn Porter and state Sen. Martin Looney spoke in support of the legalization of recreational marijuana, with Looney noting that the prohibition of alcohol didn’t work in the 1930s, Fasano spoke out against it.
“I’m against legalizing marijuana because the federal government has made it illegal,” Fasano said. “If the feds make a change, it will be different, because until then you’re violating federal law. The issue is social and the cost to the health care system. It’s not a criminal justice problem, but a health problem.”
When the legislators were asked what can be done to tackle the opioid epidemic, Yaccarino said he sponsored legislation last year. “I put in the bill for prescription legislation that addresses physicians and pharmacies that tackles a serious epidemic.”
Many of the lawmakers called for additional legislation.
The legislators answered questions about a number of other issues, from the cost of pensions for state employees, to free public college tuition, charter schools, Educational Cost Sharing and highway tolls.
At the conclusion of the breakfast, Elona Vaisnys, a member of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, called for the preservation of the Citizens’ Election Program, which provides public funding to run campaigns for legislative seats.