CT Senate Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession
Afer five hours of debate, on Tuesday Connecticut became the 13th state in the Union to decriminalize marijuana. The state’s House of Representatives passed new legislation and Governor Dan Malloy is expected to sign off on it.
The House voted 90 to 57 in favor of SB 1014.
According to the new rules first-time offenders caught in possession of less than a half-ounce of pot will be hit with a 150 ticket; repeat offenders would get at least $200 but a maximum of 500 per offense. If you’re under 21, you’ll get a two-month suspension of your driver’s license.
“Final approval of this legislation accepts the reality that the current law does more harm than good — both in the impact it has on people’s lives and the burden it places on police, prosecutors and probation officers of the criminal justice system,” Malloy said in the statement.
State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) in a statement on her website said that decriminalization sends the wrong message to the state’s youth about the risks of marijuana use.
“What kind of message does this send to our children?” Senator Boucher said in the statement. “This law undermines a fundamental lesson that our schools, social service programs and parents teach our children: that taking drugs is bad for you.”
Connecticut’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis however estimates the bill will save the state nearly $1 million in court costs and attorney salaries and net upwards of $1.4 million in new fines and fees.