Cannabis in Connecticut

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Cannabis in the U.S. state of Connecticut is illegal for recreational use, but possession of small amounts is decriminalized. Medical usage is permitted.

Decriminalization (2011)[edit]

In June 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation decriminalizing cannabis possession to a $150 fine for a first offense. This followed a close vote in the Senate and 90–57 vote in the House. Governor Malloy stated:

“Let me make it clear—we are not legalizing the use of marijuana. In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime, and acknowledging the effects of its application … There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders.”[1]

Medical cannabis (2012)[edit]

In June 2012, Governor Malloy signed into law a medical marijuana program for his state, following a 21–13 vote in the Senate.[2][3][4]

Recreational cannabis[edit]

In April 2018, a recreational marijuana bill was approved to be sent to the General Assembly in a 27–24 vote. The plan is to be sent to the General Assembly in October 2018.[5]

Legality[edit]

Senate Bill 1014 reduces the penalties for the adult possession of up to one half-ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. The new law similarly reduces penalties for the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Possession of larger amounts of marijuana is still illegal and punishable by imprisonment and monetary fines. A subsequent offense of possession of one half-ounce of marijuana is still a non-criminal infraction but the fine rises to $200–500.[6] First offense of possessing one-half to four ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fine.[6] A subsequent offense becomes a felony punishable by up to 5 years’ incarceration and $3,000 fine.[6]

First offense of possession of 4 ounces or more is a felony punishable by 5 years’ imprisonment and $2,000 fine.[6] Subsequent offenses are punishable by 10 years in jail and a fine of $5,000.[6] The minimum mandatory sentence for possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school is 2 years’ incarceration (without monetary fine) that runs consecutively with any other sentence.[6]

Selling any amount of marijuana is completely illegal and a felony punishable by no less than 7 years in jail and $25,000 in fine.[6] Selling to minors and possessing within 1,500 feet of a school or day care are both felonies which adds 3 years’ imprisonment to any other sentence imposed.[6] There’s no monetary fine imposed.[6][7]

References[edit]