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Lawmakers Vote To Decriminalize Adult Marijuana Possession

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Connecticut lawmakers voted 90 to 57 in favor of Senate Bill 1014, decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use by adults. Senate lawmakers had narrowly approved an amended! version of the measure on Saturday; House lawmakers concurred with the Senate today, sending the measure to Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy -- who will sign it into law.

As amended, SB 1014 reduces the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. (This measure would similarly reduce penalties on the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.)

Once signed into law, Connecticut will become the fourteenth state to replace criminal sanctions and arrest for minor marijuana possession with largely non-criminal sanctions. (Seven states pose no criminal sanctions for cannabis possession; six states have eliminated the potential for jail terms for first offenses, but still classify the offense as a misdemeanor or minor misdemeanor.)

Connecticut is only the second state to enact decriminalization legislatively in the past decade. (Massachusetts enacted a similar law via ballot initiative in 2009.)

NORML supporters, and Connecticut NORML's regional organizer and state lobbyist Erik Williams, played a significant role in sheparding this legislation through the State House -- generating thousands of phone calls and e-mails to lawmakers at a time when political experts were alleging that the measure lacked the political will for passage.


NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: NORML
Copyright: 2011 NORML
Contact: norml@norml.org
Website: Direct Email
 
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