Connecticut: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Is Now Law

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 5, 2011

    Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy signed legislation into law on Thursday, June 30 ‘decriminalizing’ the possession of small, personal use amounts of marijuana by adults. The new law, Senate Bill 1014, took effect on Friday, July 1.

    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.

    Connecticut’s new law is similar to the existing ‘decriminalization’ laws in California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Oregon where private, non-medical possession of marijuana is treated as a civil, non-criminal offense.

    Five additional states — Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio — treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense. Alaska law imposes no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults.

    Lawmakers in California and Kentucky previously enacted laws this year reducing penalties for marijuana possession.

    Additional information on this law will appear in this week’s NORML news update. To receive these e-mail updates free, please sign up here.

    73 responses to “Connecticut: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Is Now Law”

    1. Daylan says:

      You know, I have a funky feeling that either South Carolina is going to be last in joining this movement to decriminalize marijuana or they’re just going complete turn the other way because of all the conservatives that live here and been feeding the crap that weed is bad and very harmful to the body…bull shit (pardon my french) there’s more good than bad that comes from cannabis and hemp is one of them. That’s all I’m going ti say because I’ll go in this huge rant and that usually take about 5-10 minutes of reading. Lol

    2. Rhonda says:

      I have to dissagree with something here. I live in North Carolina and getting caught with any amount of pot is not treated as a “fine-only” offense. A gram of pot will get you 18 months probation plus fines and fees! Fine only offense…yeah…right.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Under North Carolina law, first offense minor marijuana possession charges are suspended, leaving the penalty of a fine ($200) but no jail time. But because the offense is classified as a criminal misdemeanor rather than a civil infraction, there is still the possibility of probation and a criminal record. This is why the post above distinguishes between states that treat possession as a fine-only infraction (like CT) versus and fine-only misdemeanor offense (like NC).]

    3. Anonymous says:

      Michigan will be the last state to join this movement. Even though our economy here is in the tank and jobs continue to leave the state, with none coming in to replace them.

    4. […] full post on NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform Share and […]

    5. Jason says:

      This is positive gain. Rome was not built in a day and while all States could use revenue currently uncounted being transacted within their borders, only a bit more than a handful have taken steps to decriminalize and nobody has moved towards outright legalization. I think that with continued support of HR2603 we will be able to get a loud enough message out that will keep legislation coming both Federally and State-wide addressing marijuana as a vital source of medicine and new industry. We’ll get there, NORML. Thanks for fighting the good fight with us.

    6. Peter says:

      Can we now please update the State Law page for CT on this website? I’ve been refreshing it almost on a daily basis to see the change. Also need to update the State Law map. Peace & Pot. -Pete.

    7. JK says:

      I’m happy for the states that have now experienced decriminalization. Can’t say I’m not envious as I live in PA and don’t see it happening any time soon which is very sad. It seems like all the states around us are being progressive while we fall behind (except Philadelphia…they need to make those procedures state wide). Non Violent folks are still get locked up and their record destroyed in most states which is horrible. I’d love to move out PA but I’m stuck here. Been contacting and voicing my opinion but PA lawmakers seem determined to brush all cannabis related bills aside without the decency of a hearing. Recent polls show 80% of PA residents are accepting of medical marijuana yet nothing is being done by our representatives. I hope to high heaven they all get elected out of office next time around and will do all I can to educate folks on these type of issues.

    8. E$ says:

      Kentucky will be the last state hands down

    9. Will says:

      Woot! Another brick out of the wall!

    10. jeffro says:

      Thank God!!!
      Whats up with Georgia. Lets get some NEW MJ laws!!Make Gerogia the next target.