The Constitution State Is Fairing OK
The small state of Connecticut, though influential in creating our federal government and becoming one of the earliest states, has not yet legalized marijuana for recreational use. Over 50% of Connecticut’s voting population and approximately 80% of residents under the age of 30 have voiced their support (loudly) for legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Despite the overwhelming request for legalization, The Constitution State is sticking to legalized medical marijuana for now.
Good News in Medical Marijuana Use
While recreational users may have to wait a long time to legally enjoy marijuana, the number of medical marijuana patients may increase. Qualifying illnesses, for medical marijuana use, includes cancer, AIDS, and MS (among others). Recently, the list of qualifying medical conditions expanded to include sickle cell disease, post laminectomy syndrome (“failed back syndrome”), severe psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis.
If you or someone you love suffers from a debilitating illness, don’t go out and try to buy marijuana on your own. Even if you have a qualifying condition, you still need to have proof (from a medical marijuana specialist or physician) that you can legally consume marijuana. Might be a lengthier process, but you’ll save yourself from any legal issues.
Fines & Jail Time
If you’re planning on possessing a small amount of marijuana, hash, or concentrates, be prepared for a slap on the wrist. While Connecticut’s penalties for marijuana use and possession are more forgiving than other states, you can still face punishment for using less than a 1/2 ounce. If it’s your first offense, it will most likely be treated like a traffic violation, but don’t take the seemingly relaxed sentencing for granted. Subsequent offenses can result in heftier fines and jail time.
If you are in possession of ½ to 4 oz and it’s your first offense you could face up to a year and $1,000 fine. A subsequent offense of the same amount could result in 5 years and $3,000. A first time offense of 4 oz. is 5 years and $2,000, while a subsequent of the same amount is 10 years and $5,000. You see the pattern here, don’t make getting caught a habit.
Don’t even think about distributing or cultivating because you are looking at anywhere between 5 – 20 years, depending on first or subsequent offense and MMS.
MMS Law in Connecticut
When someone is convicted of a punishable offense by the Mandatory Minimum Sentence (MMS), the judge has no choice but to sentence the defendant (yes, even the friendly and peaceful pot smokers) to the MMS. Individuals who serve a MMS are not eligible for parole.
While there’s a slight chance that changes could be made in your case, don’t take the risk of getting yourself in the position in the first place. For distribution or cultivation of over 1 kilogram results in MMS of 5 years (for first offense) and MMS of 10 years (for subsequent).
Unless you feel like taking a risk and don’t care that you might be out of a couple hundred dollars, don’t use marijuana for recreational use in Connecticut. DO consider medical marijuana, especially if you have a qualifying medical condition.
Do I need a Lawyer in Connecticut?
You do not need a Lawyer in Connecticut if you did your homework properly. Inform yourself about the Marijuana law in here, and respect it. However, if you ignored the fact that laws differ from state to state, and you got busted, you will need a Lawyer to defend you. Check out our Lawyers directory to find a criminal lawyer in your area.