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Connecticut Marijuana Laws

Marijuana laws they are a changin'. From coast to coast, states are passing laws around marijuana use. From Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational pot use to a stable of medical marijuana states, the drug is changing the face of the legal landscape.

Since 1996, 20 states and the District of Columbia have passed medical marijuana laws. In Connecticut, the state has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation. Those younger than 21 would face a 60-day driver's license suspension, similar to the existing penalty for possessing alcohol.

A basic outline of Connecticut's marijuana laws is in the table below. See Medical Marijuana Laws by State and the links following this article to learn more.

Possession
  Penalty Incarceration Maximum Fine
 

Personal Use

  Less than 1/2 oz (first offense) civil penalty N/A $ 150
  Less than 1/2 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty N/A $ 500
  1/2 - 4 oz (first offense) civil penalty 1 year $ 1,000
  1/2 - 4 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty 5 years $ 3,000
  More than 4 oz (first offense) civil penalty 5 years $ 2,000
  More than 4 oz (subsequent offense) civil penalty 10 years $ 5,000

Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

Connecticut’s law approving the sale of marijuana for medical purposes was on the books since 2012. And growing the drug took off right away. Indeed, across Connecticut, growers cultivate marijuana for medical use in buildings with the exacting standards of pharmaceutical factories. Under the law, patients wishing to receive medical marijuana have to register with the state. To qualify, patients must have one of 11 debilitating conditions, which include cancer, Crohn's disease and HIV/AIDS.

That is all well and good, but what about a place for Connecticut residents to actually buy the plant? Among the challenges has been finding dispensing locations acceptable to Connecticut towns and cities. You must find a licensed dispensary.

Finding Legal Help

What if, despite the shifting legality of drug laws, you were charged with a drug crime? If you are facing criminal drugs charges, you may want to consider speaking with an experienced Connecticut criminal attorney. Defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney may ask that one be appointed to their case.

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