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What are the marijuana laws in Connecticut?
Yesterday at Attleboro, police from the Westport Police Department seized marijuana edibles from a woman’s car. One of the officers on patrol detected a strong marijuana odor coming from the car when he stopped it. The officer took liberty to inspect the car and while at it he stumbled upon a stash; three-quarters of marijuana and a few bags of marijuana edibles. The driver was a lady by the name of Alissa Mercer and she is to appear in court to face charges soonest possible. Together with the stash the woman was also in possession of $2,132 in hard cash.
Medical Marijuana was legalized in Connecticut in 2012. Marijuana for recreational use is illegal in the state of Connecticut. However, possession of small amounts of marijuana was decriminalized and only attracts a small penalty.
The Governor of Connecticut is Daniel Malloy; he has been actively involved in reforming marijuana laws in the state.
Decriminalization of Marijuana in Connecticut
Recreational marijuana was decriminalized in Connecticut in June, 2011 after Governor Daniel Malloy signed a bill to this effect. Following this the governor issued a statement which read in part “the state's criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders.”
Medical Marijuana Laws in Connecticut
Medical cannabis was legalized in Connecticut in June 2012 after Governor Malloy signed into law a medical marijuana program for his state. Previously the senate had voted 21–13 vote in favor of the legalization bill.
For patients to access medical marijuana in Connecticut they have to be registered under the medical cannabis program. This requires that they be first seen by a registered and qualified physician who can recommend them to get the Connecticut medical cannabis certificate. Patients may also apply for this certificate online from the Connecticut Administrative Services website. Once the patients get approval as legitimate medical marijuana patients they will be able to legally access medical marijuana products from cannabis dispensaries in the state. Examples of cannabis dispensaries in Connecticut include Caring Nature Dispensary, Still River Wellness dispensary, and Affinity Health and Wellness. There are about 17 marijuana dispensaries listed on the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website.
Which Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Connecticut?
Only residents of Connecticut can apply for a medical marijuana certificate in the state. Additionally the patient must be receiving treatment from a Connecticut-licensed physician or an advanced practice nurse for a debilitating medical condition. Inmates confined to correctional facilities cannot qualify for this certificate. Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment in Connecticut include the following:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn's disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe Psoriasis
- Cystic Fibrosis
- End of life care
For Patients Under 18, Debilitating Medical Conditions Include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Severe Epilepsy
- Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
- Osteogenesis Imperfecta
- Tourette Syndrome for patients
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Connecticut
Senate Bill 1014 decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
– Adult possession of up to one half-ounce of marijuana is now considered a non-criminal infraction and is punishable by a $150 fine. This will not attract a jail term or a criminal record.
– Possession of large amounts of marijuana is still illegal in Connecticut and can be punishable by.
– The possession of one half-ounce of marijuana for a subsequent time is still a non-criminal infraction but the fine is increased to $200–500.
– Possession of up to four ounces or more of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in prison and $1,000 in fine. A subsequent similar offence is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $3,000.
– The possession of more than 4 ounces is a felony that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $2,000 fine. A subsequent similar offence is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
– Possession of marijuana within 1,500 feet of a school is illegal and punishable by 2 years' incarceration with no fine.
– The sale of marijuana is illegal throughout Connecticut and attracts a sentence of 7 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
– Selling of marijuana to minors is considered a felony and attract a sentence of 3 years in prison with no fine.
What about Hash and Concentrates?
Hash and Concentrates are given the exact same definition as any other part of the marijuana plant. This means that the possession or sale of marijuana hash and concentrates attracts the same penalties for all infractions as the plant marijuana.
Is Marijuana Paraphernalia Illegal in Connecticut?
Marijuana paraphernalia refers to any equipment or accessory that is intended for producing, consuming, or concealing marijuana.
- The possession of paraphernalia intended for consuming, inhaling or ingesting over one-half ounce of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and attracts a sentence of 3 months imprisonment and a $500 fine.
- If the paraphernalia was intended for sale or distribution it will attract a heftier penalty of $2,000 and up to one year imprisonment. In order to be convicted the defendant must have been aware that the paraphernalia would be used to cultivate or consume over one-half ounce of marijuana. If the paraphernalia was intended for the consumption or cultivation of less than this amount of marijuana the offence is considered a civil infraction and will attract a fine of $100-$300.
- Possession or distribution of marijuana paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of a school attracts a sentence of 1 year of imprisonment with no fine.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal in Connecticut?
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in Connecticut, as well as other states in the US. The Agricultural Act of 2018 legalized hemp as a federal level and paved the way for the states and Indian tribes to create their own hemp programs. So far, 47 states including Connecticut have created hemp programs to allow for the commercial cultivation of hemp. These programs are regulated under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).