cannabisnews.com: Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Approved By House
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Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Approved By House
Posted by CN Staff on June 07, 2011 at 15:14:32 PT
By JC Reindl 
Source: The Day
Hartford, C.T. -- A marijuana decriminalization bill cleared the state House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon by a 90-57 vote and is expected to become law.Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he will sign the legislation, making Connecticut the 14th state in the country to adopt decriminalization for cannabis possession. The Senate passed the measure Saturday.
The bill reduces the penalty for possessing less than a half ounce of marijuana from a crime with a potential prison sentence to a $150 violation on the first offense. Second and subsequent offenses carry a $200-$500 fine, and third-time offenders must enroll in a drug education program at their own expense.To further deter youths, violators under age 21 will have their driver's licenses suspended for 60 days. Those who don't yet drive would have to wait an additional 150 days to obtain their license.Under current state law, individuals holding less than 4 ounces of marijuana could face a fine up to $1,000 for a first offense and imprisonment of up to a year. In practice, however, most first-time offenders pay a fine closer to $200 and jail time is extremely rare.Second or subsequent offenses carry fines fine up to $3,000 and up to five years in prison. And it's a mandatory two-year prison sentence if possession happens within 1,500 feet of a school or day care center, unless the offender is a student at the school.Malloy said he applauds the House's vote."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," the governor said in a statement.Source: Day, The (CT)Author: JC Reindl Published: June 7, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Day Publishing Co.Contact: editor theday.comWebsite: http://www.theday.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/A0yCkK3WCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml 
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Comment #5 posted by paul armentano on June 08, 2011 at 13:10:51 PT
It's true decrim
no criminal penalties apply to up to one half ounce or paraphernalia. Maine has a similar 'true' decrim law, as do a handful of other states (Nebraska, etc.)
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2011 at 10:54:09 PT
criminal elimination
this excerpt from the other article seems to indicate that arrest is now impossible for less than 1/2 ounce, so it is true decrim:After a nearly four-hour debate Tuesday, the House voted 90-57 to eliminate the misdemeanor offense from possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on June 08, 2011 at 10:52:31 PT
Progress!
This is definitely progress. I wonder if the bill completely eliminates criminal penalties for less than a half ounce? That is the major flaw with most decrim states, to my knowledge only MA and CA have true decrim with no possibility of arrest for under one ounce.I wonder if this will eliminate criminal records. The state is going to have to track these offenses in order to escalate the penalty.It looks to me like they avoided passing medical by passing a watered-down decrim bill. Still, if it eliminates the arrests it's a good thing.Medical patients can just go F-off, even with the recent NCI confirmation that it works. What a shame.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 07, 2011 at 23:05:35 PT
Good
Another little step towards sanity for government and the people that are governed.It be nice if they, legislators and citizens, could just walk courageously right up to the door, unlock it, open it, and walk fully across the threshold to full sanity, and free and responsible citizens on the matter. But we're getting closer. Unbelievably slowly. But closer.What's that old saying about having to line something up with a fencepost to see if it's moving?We might be moving faster than that these days, though. Just barely... but moving, nonetheless. It's good. I'm glad of it and thankful. Now for the Governor's signature. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 07, 2011 at 15:21:19 PT
Legislators Send MJ Decrim Bill To The Governor
June 7, 2011URL: http://www.ctmirror.org/story/12857/legislators-send-marijuana-decrim-bill-governor
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