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Connecticut/Sen. Toni Boucher (R-New Canaan)/Against

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Bill To Ease Connecticut's Pot Law Penalties Draws Fire


ARTFORD — - A bill to relax marijuana laws has no friend in state Sen. Toni Boucher.

"We are being foolish in pursuing something where we really can see the damage around us," the Wilton Republican said outside a legislative public hearing on the issue Friday.

The bill would reclassify possession of drug paraphernalia or of less than 1 ounce of marijuaARTFORD — - A bill to relax marijuana laws has no friend in state Sen. Toni Boucher.

"We are being foolish in pursuing something where we really can see the damage around us," the Wilton Republican said outside a legislative public hearing on the issue Friday.

The bill would reclassify possession of drug paraphernalia or of less than 1 ounce of marijuana as infractions — a ticketed offense. They are now misdemeanors.

The measure is intended to save the state the expense of prosecuting relatively minor drug offenses.

"It's a slap on the hand," Boucher said. "It is just a step in the direction of total decriminalization of marijuana and, ultimately in the goals of the proponents, to legalize the use of marijuana."

Mark Pitruzzello, a Middletown resident who came to the Capitol for the hearing, likes the idea of decriminalization.

"Marijuana has been characterized with ******* and opiates and all this other stuff," Pitruzzello said. "It's really removed from that. I'm 55, I've been smoking marijuana daily almost for 40 years. I'm not crazy."

A similar bill last year never made it. Friday's public hearing was before the judiciary committee.

"We don't like the bill," West Hartford Police Chief James Strillacci said outside the hearing. "It would take what's now a crime and make it an infraction, and that would reduce an officer's ability to take further investigative action, particularly for searches."na as infractions — a ticketed offense. They are now misdemeanors.

The measure is intended to save the state the expense of prosecuting relatively minor drug offenses.

"It's a slap on the hand," Boucher said. "It is just a step in the direction of total decriminalization of marijuana and, ultimately in the goals of the proponents, to legalize the use of marijuana."

Mark Pitruzzello, a Middletown resident who came to the Capitol for the hearing, likes the idea of decriminalization.

"Marijuana has been characterized with ******* and opiates and all this other stuff," Pitruzzello said. "It's really removed from that. I'm 55, I've been smoking marijuana daily almost for 40 years. I'm not crazy."

A similar bill last year never made it. Friday's public hearing was before the judiciary committee.

"We don't like the bill," West Hartford Police Chief James Strillacci said outside the hearing. "It would take what's now a crime and make it an infraction, and that would reduce an officer's ability to take further investigative action, particularly for searches."

Source: Bill To Ease Connecticut's Pot Law Penalties Draws Fire - Courant.com
 
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