Throughout the country, state governments are deciding whether to decriminalize marijuana, and they are looking at Connecticut’s law as they craft their proposals.
Prior to July 2011, a person caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana in Connecticut was arrested. Now, people older than 21 who are caught with that amount of marijuana get tickets and $150 fines. People 21 and under get tickets and a 60-day driver’s license suspensions.
Fines for subsequent offenses range from $200 to $500. Those who are caught three or more times are required to obtain drug counseling, and they must pay for the counseling themselves.
Rhode Island and Maine are the latest states to announce legislation that would decriminalize marijuana, and representatives from those states participated in a Marijuana Policy Project teleconference Thursday. Continue reading
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has put his signature on a bill that legalizes and regulates medical marijuana in Connecticut.
The law requires that patients get a prescription from a doctor and that they register with the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. Patients would be allowed to possess a one-month supply and could buy it from state-sanctioned dispensaries.
The law limits the number of dispensaries statewide to 10. Dispensaries and growers of the medical marijuana would have to be licensed by the state.
Malloy, a Democrat, said in a statement that Connecticut’s law is better than laws of other states where medical marijuana is legal because it put limits on how much patients can have and where they can get it.
“For years, we’ve heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide,” he said. “With careful regulation and safeguards, this law will allow a doctor and a patient to decide what is in that patient’s best interest.”
A state-appointed panel of physicians will recommend which ailments should make a person eligible to receive a marijuana prescription.
Most parts of the bill will take effect Oct. 1. Provisions requiring marijuana dispensaries and producers to get licenses from the state take effect immediately. Continue reading