State of Cannabis: Connecticut

State of Cannabis: Connecticut

Thisis provingto be a big year for cannabis. As a result, we are ranking the fifty states from worst to best on how they treat cannabis and those who consume it. Each of our State of Cannabis posts will analyze one state and our final post will crown the best state for cannabis. As is always the case, but particularly so with this series, we welcome your comments.We are now approaching the top of our list. The remaining states all have legalized medical marijuana. Thecriminal penalties in the remaining states range from bad to good, but many have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The last few weeks we have covered states in the Northeast and that trend continues with state number 12: Connecticut.

Our previous rankings are as follows: 13. Vermont; 14. Rhode Island; 15. Kentucky; 16.Pennsylvania; 17.Delaware; 18. Michigan; 19. New Hampshire; 20. Ohio; 21.New Jersey; 22.Illinois;23.Minnesota; 24.New York; 25.Wisconsin; 26.Arizona; 27.West Virginia; 28.Indiana; 29.North Carolina; 30.Utah; 31.South Carolina; 32.Tennessee; 33.North Dakota; 34.Georgia; 35.Louisiana; 36.Mississippi; 37.Nebraska; 38.Missouri;39.Florida; 40.Arkansas; 41.Montana;42.Iowa; 43.Virginia; 44.Wyoming; 45.Texas; 46.Kansas; 47.Alabama; 48.Idaho; 49.Oklahoma; 50.South Dakota.


Criminal Penalties. Connecticut does not impose criminal penalties for possessing less than a half an ounce of cannabis. The fine for the first possession offense of less than half an ounce of cannabis is $150 and $200-500 for any subsequent offenses.Possession of between a half an ounce and four ounces can get you up toa maximum 1-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine. Subsequent convictions for this amount can earn a maximum 5-year prison sentence and a $3,000 fine.Connecticut punishes the possession of over 4 ounces of cannabis with a maximum 5-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $2,000. A second offense warrants a maximum 10-year jail sentence and fine up to $5,000.

The sale and distribution of cannabis is punished based on the amount and number of prior offenses, as follows:

  • Less than 1 kilogram of marijuana earns up to 7 years imprisonmentand a maximumfine of $25,000. Subsequent offenses earn up to15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000. Connecticut courts mayimpose an alternative sentence for distribution crimes of less than 1 kilogram where the maximum jail sentence is reduced to three years. In these cases, the convicted persons release is subject to conditions including post-release supervision.
  • Over 1 kilogram of cannabis earns between 5-20 years imprisonment and 10-25 years of imprisonment for any subsequent offenses. The courts have discretion to alter mandatory minimums if the cannabis offender is under 18 or is mentally impaired.

Medical Marijuana.In 2012 Connecticut passed HB 5389,legalizing the medical use of cannabis. Qualifying patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis each month. AConnecticut-licensed physician may recommend cannabis for one of the following debilitating medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Cachexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Crohns disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome with Chronic Radiculopathy
  • Severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Terminal Illness Requiring End-Of-Life Care
  • Uncontrolled Intractable Seizure Disorder

The Departmentof Consumer Protection oversees Connecticuts medical cannabis program and it hasestablished a Board of Physicians who may recommend additional conditions.

Patients must be over the age of 18 and residents of Connecticut ...

Read More