Mandatory minimum sentence: When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.
Possession of up to four ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for the first offense. A subsequent offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000. Possession of four ounces or more of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Possession of any amount within 1500 feet of a school adds a two-year minimum mandatory sentence to run consecutively with any other sentence imposed.
Cultivation, delivery or sale of marijuana is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Sale to a minor adds a two-year mandatory minimum sentence to run consecutively with any other sentence. Sale within 1500 feet of a school, public housing project or day care center adds a three-year mandatory minimum sentence to run consecutively with any other sentence.
Conviction of any violation involving marijuana allows the court to recommend to the licensing boards within the state that the offender’s license to practice or carry on his profession be suspended or revoked.
Possession of paraphernalia is punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. If the possession of paraphernalia occurs within 1500 feet of a school, an additional one year mandatory minimum sentence is imposed to run consecutively with any other sentence.
Marijuana tax stamps: This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction.
“Let me make it clear—we are legalizing the use of marijuana. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders,” said Malloy.
The last decade has seen a number of changes in Connecticut cannabis law as the state moves to keep pace with the rapidly expanding marijuana landscape emerging in the U.S in the 21st century. While neighbouring states Massachusetts and Vermont have already legalized both recreational and medical cannabis, the state of Connecticut has been a little slower on the uptake.
In this article, we take a closer look at cannabis law in Connecticut with respect to usage, possession and cultivation.
Cannabis Law in Connecticut
While full legality has yet to be achieved, the governor signalled the states intention to develop a fairer more legitimate cannabis market for Connecticut´s citizens.
Cannabis laws in Connecticut began to change in 2011 when Governor Dannel Malloy first signed legislation that would decriminalise cannabis possession in the state.
However, despite plenty of discussion, Connecticut has yet to give the green light to a fully legalized and regulated market place.