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Marijuana Legislation

·       P.A. 11-71, An Act Concerning the Penalty for Certain Nonviolent Drug Offenses signed in 2011.

·       Decriminalizes possession of one-half oz. marijuana for adult use

·       Reduces the crime to an infraction ($150 fine for first offense)

·       Under age 21 face 60-day license suspension

·       Under age 16 or 17 face juvenile detention

 

An Overview of Offenses

 

Less than

one-half ounce

 

Penalty for possession now reduced from a crime to an infraction

 

First Offense:

$150 fine 

 

Subsequent Offenses:

$200 to $500 fine

 

Upon 3rd conviction, in addition to the fine, offender must enroll in a drug program at their own expense

 

For under age 18*, will be found guilty of an infraction and must appear in juvenile court

 

For under age 21, face 60-day suspension of license or 150-day in receiving license

 

One-half ounce

to 4 ounces


First Offense:
Fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for no more than one year, or both

 

Subsequent Offenses:

Fine up to $3,000 or imprisonment for no more than five years, or both 

 

Greater than 4 ounces

 

First Offense:

Fine of up to $2,000 or imprisonment for no more than five years, or both

 

Subsequent Offenses: Fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for no more than ten years, or both 

*Penalties for those 16 years of age or younger in effect as of July 1, 2011.  Delinquent status expanded July 1, 2012 to include those 17 years of age or younger.


For the possession of drug paraphernalia for use with under ½ ounce of marijuana, which is now incorporated into the statutes as CGS §21a-267(d), the penalty is also only a fine. According to the Superior Court Mail-In Violations and Infractions Schedule, effective October 1, 2012, the fine is $90 plus fees and surcharges of $46 for a total of $136.


Since the juvenile court does not impose fines and because both of these new offenses would be classified as “delinquent acts” by CGS §46b-120(9) , the maximum penalty for a child, a person under the age of 18, would be a commitment to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for an indeterminate period up to 18 months, with a possible extension for another 18 months if the court found that such extension would be the best interest of the child or the community.


So while the Act decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and the possession of drug paraphernalia for use with small amounts of marijuana for adults, it did not have any significant impact on children who commit those offenses.

 

Salvia Legislation

·      P.A. 11-73 An Act Regulating the Sale and Possession of Synthetic Marijuana and Salvia Divinorum signed in 2011.

·      Requires that Department of Consumer Protection designate salvia and salvinorum A (its active constituent) as controlled substances

·      May take a period of time before full regulation and enforcement are in place

 

Synthetic Cannabis Legislation

·      P.A. 11-73 An Act Regulating the Sale and Possession of Synthetic Marijuana and Salvia Divinorum signed in 2011.

·      Requires that Department of Consumer Protection designate 5 synthetic version of marijuana as controlled substances

·      Possibility of manufacturers altering compounds to get around the law

·      May take a period of time before full regulation and enforcement are in place


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