Connecticut Decriminalizes Marijuana

Possession of half-ounce or less now ticketing offense

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 8, 2011 1:19 AM CDT | Updated Jun 11, 2011 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Possessing a half-ounce or less of pot will soon no longer be a crime in Connecticut. After a spirited discussion, the state's House of Representatives has voted to make Connecticut the 14th state in the nation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, reports the Hartford Courant. Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy has promised to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

"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," Malloy told reporters, stressing that the state is not legalizing the drug. People caught with marijuana will now be treated more like speeders, receiving a $150 ticket for their first offense. (Meanwhile, Connecticut is also cracking down ... on fake pot.)

Possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana, an amount equivalent to around 30 joints, has been decriminalized in Connecticut.
Possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana, an amount equivalent to around 30 joints, has been decriminalized in Connecticut.   (Getty Images)
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There is no question that the state's criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders. - Gov. Dan Malloy

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