In a trend that I am seeing nationwide, lawmakers in Connecticut this week heard testimony on a bill that would decriminalize a small amount of personal marijuana. Senate Bill 349 would bring the state up to speed with several others that consider a small amount of marijuana a ticketable infraction.
While many states have legalized medicinal marijuana, some are still working on decriminalization. The term decriminalization refers to making possession of a small amount (in this case less than 1 ounce) of marijuana an infraction rather than a crime.
While the bill isn’t without opponents, numerous other states decriminalized pot as early as the 1970s. The legislation before Connecticut lawmakers would penalize those found in possession of less than one ounce with a fine. Currently, the law considers this amount to be a misdemeanor.
Until the legislation is passed, you can face up to one year in jail if caught with a small amount of weed.
For your first offense, if you are caught with a quarter ounce, under current law, you are punished similarly as if you are caught with 3 ounces. This is because the threshold for misdemeanor marijuana possession is currently 4 ounces. Anything more than 4 ounces is a felony.
While the cause has generated buzz across the country as other states consider their own marijuana legislation, don’t get caught up in the hype. A similar bill died last May when it was filibustered by a staunch opponent in a Senate committee hearing. Just over a year ago, a referendum to decriminalize less than 1 oz of marijuana passed in Massachusetts.
If you are charged with possession of marijuana under the current laws, a defense attorney is a wise choice. When faced with any criminal offense, you have the right to be defended by a lawyer.
Having handled numerous marijuana cases at all levels, I can help with yours. Contact me today to discuss the charges against you and how I might be able to help.