Connecticut: Lawmakers Vote To Decriminalize Adult Marijuana Possession

Connecticut lawmakers moments ago 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. Below is a message from Erik Williams:

Dear CT NORML Friends and Supporters,
We did it! Moments ago, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed SB 1014, Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Marijuana. The Governor has pledged to sign the bill into law.
Thank you for all of your hard work in making this a reality. Connecticut has taken a first step in addressing the outdated and unworkable War on Drugs, which costs taxpayers $billions every year and ruins individual lives and devastates communities.
While this is clearly a victory for CT NORML and the State of Connecticut, it is bittersweet as the Medical Marijuana bill has yet to be brought for a vote in the Senate. If it were to be brought for a vote, it would easily pass with both Republicans and Democrats supporting the measure. I pledge right now to all of you who have fought so hard with me for the legalization of medical marijuana that I will not give up until nobody stands in the way of you and your doctor making medical decisions. I will not give up until compassion is the main driver of public policy replacing political posturing, demagoguery and fear. I will not stop working until medical marijuana is legalized and I ask you to continue to fight by my side.

Connecticut’s legislative session ends tomorrow, but there is still time to act in favor of medical cannabis. If you live in Connecticut, please contact the office of Sen. Don Williams, President Pro Tempore, and urge him to allow the 2011 medical marijuana bill to receive a floor vote. You can also contact your own individual Senator via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

111 thoughts

  1. This is exactly what the facade of medical marijuana is preventing! Legal for all break NO law.

  2. Good Hippie, Bad Hippie, Young Hippie, Old Hippie – here’s your choice”
    “Do you want “one” cookie – or – do you want “no” cookie?” – and – fuck it that your brother got “three” cookies. Right! – and – fuck me too! There’s no suck thing as a free lunch! I’m sorry I had to put it that way – but – “That’s reality.”

  3. I just have to say that finally people are realizing that maruijuna is amazing and there is nothing but good times to come.

  4. I wish Alaska would follow in the footsteps. Knowing that we are really close to Canada…where the “BC” is..and we also have the Matanuska thing going on here. Just food for thought.
    [Paul Armentano responds: Alaska law imposes no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults. See:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?wtm_view=&Group_ID=4522.%5D

  5. …Also that we have the highest rate of sex offenders;who can never be rehabilitated and we are wasting our jail space with petty little crimes like misconduct involving a controlled substance. Pleae revisit our states priorities!

  6. the decriminlazation is only for 1 Ounce or less…(or some say 1/2 ox or less) any amount of weed over 1 oz:
    is a criminal offense…1 oz of weed is only 20 cigs.!
    The Law simply does not go far enough to protect us !

  7. ps the new law also says: If a person “gets caught with 1/2 oz. on a second offense; the person can go to jail…! so this law only applies to minute MJ amounts!
    prob. just enough to put into a small one toke pipe !
    gosh one puff of MJ is not enough to make a difference!(to protecting my health because MJ is an Herbal Med!!!

  8. We need people in Connecticut — “boots on the ground” to turn a military phrase — who know the members of that state’s general assembly (or whatever name for the state legislative body) and compare the state legislators’ voting “No” record on SB1014 and the House version with the state campaign finance records to learn how many of the “No” voting state assembly members were also receiving campaign contributions from people associated with the private prison industry.
    Of course, this type of opposition “No vote” research could perhaps all be done via the internet by people who reside outside of Connecticut as well…

  9. Connecticut General Assembly web portal
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/
    Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission
    http://www.ct.gov/seec/site/default.asp
    Campaign Disclosure and Legislation
    http://www.ct.gov/seec/cwp/view.asp?a=3556&q=420280&seecNav=|
    “The disclosure area of the State Elections Enforcement Commission ensures that the public can readily access both registration and financial information regarding any and all committees that are registered with the Commission. The agency provides forms for both registration and financial disclosure in a paper format as well as through the Electronic Campaign Reporting Information System (eCRIS). All documents received by the Unit are posted on the eCRIS system where the public can search for campaign finance information about Party Committees, Political Committees and Candidates running for Statewide and General Assembly offices.”

  10. Perhaps NORML could craft some model marijuana reform legislation (decriminalization, cultivation, farmers’ markets, ect.) tailored specifically for southern “Bible Belt” states that would include verses from the Christian Bible (along with Jewish translation of some specific words) within the text of southern states marijuana reform legislation so that opposing state legislators would have to be recorded on roll call as voting against biblical scripture supporting citizens’ freedom to access marijuana and hemp products…

  11. This gas got to be driving the Right Wing Authoritarians in the Obama regime (DEA & DoJ) nuts! They must be watching the stocks/profits from those private for-profit mandatory treatment centers and the private for-profit prisons drop in value as we watch.
    Ultimately (and hopefully) the question will get asked; “Is There A Place For The DEA In Today’s Society?’
    I believe the answer to that question is, “Yes, there is!”
    The government decided a long time ago to use a volunteers-only military instead of a draft or universal conscription to fill the ranks. To conceal the true numbers of troops actually engaged in combat and combat support roles in our optional preemptive overseas military adventures, ostensibly for our combined War of Terror and War of Drugs, our government has contracted the use of subcontractors / mercenaries at 5x the cost per military trooper. This is not cost-effective, and contrary to good governance — no surprise that a Republican regime was the instigator of such a policy, nor that it took a Reich-Wing Authoritarian Democratic regime to further that same agenda. “Private profits with socialized risk” is a core tenet of the Oligarchical Kleptocracy (Fascistic) corporate overlords that run the USA government today.
    It’s time for a change we can all believe in. The RWA that comprise the bulk of our DEA deserve our support, and it can be empirically proven that they desire the testosterone-inspired adrenaline rush of combat. Let’s give it to them. Let’s organize all of the DEA into combat brigades, and ship them off to Afghanistan where they can do some real good. As combat support staff, or walking point on foot patrol in illicit crop eradication sweeps, the DEA could replace many of those more expensive DoD contract employees. No doubt they can make good use of their skills at “winning hearts and minds” as they ‘educate’ the indigenous civilian population on the dangers inherent in maintaining illicit cannabis and poppy plantations.
    The mental picture of DEA combat patrols walking point, with an electronic universal translator in one hand, a machete in the other, and with an M-4 rifle and hydration system slung over their shoulders is awe-inspiring. Taking the War of Drugs to its source, in Afghanistan, would properly demonstrate their dedication to their calling. Hey, it’s not just a job — it’s a chosen life-style. And like the ancient Spartans, they can return home when completely victorious, or dead on their shields, not before.
    Next, let’s talk about private prison guards … and after that, our RWA politicians themselves, including Obama …

  12. The DEA has Holy Basil extracts and morning glory seeds along with marijuana as schedule I ! what a joke!
    Schedule I is the most potential for addiction ?
    morning glory seeds? cripe I have never even tried them

  13. A very good first step for the Nutmeg State.Nutmeg is a mild halucinagen,and has medicinal uses too.If Connecticut does not deal with the dispensary/cultivation/licenseing of Medical Cannabis they are asking for trouble.There will be a Task Force to investigate this, but in the mean while more people are going to jail.(19000 inmates in Ct.maybe 1k non violent drug offenders.)We need a general amnesty for all low level non-violent drug offenders in this state.I think the anti-med pot people better circle the wagons.People from Connecticut will go to the neighboring states to get their Medical Cannabis scrips filled.The state is missing the boat.Thanks to Erik and NORML Ct. good work folks.Lets re-write this Med Pot Bill with our allies in the Ct leg.and make it a blend of the workable legislation like Rhode Island and Colorado have. peace

  14. WOW !! SO cool. I was about 16 and about to go to ‘Nam when the “War on Drugs” started. 40 years later we have decriminalization. whew…..
    Thanks Norml. Don’t quite know what to say. Actually got a little choked up reading this.
    Thanks SO much.

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  17. OT- (Kinda) When you put links in this site. Example: When I clicked on the Senator’s Site. I almost closed the window and lost your website. All you have to do and NOT lose people is add a simple script “Open in New Window”. So when I link is clicked- your Original Page and the New Page have their OWN pages.
    TY and Keep up the Great Work!

  18. MILLION MARIJUANA MARCH / MILLION MEDICAL MARIJUANA MARCH ~ SUMMER 2012 SUMMER 2013
    LIVE FREE PEOPLE TIS THE AMERICAN WAY !
    Marijuan has OVER “40 known Medicinal Qualites…
    wake up american and “smell THE Healing Herb from God!
    I had a stomach bug and could not eat anything but Yogurt for 7 days I took ONE TOKE of a super weed;
    my stomach relazed and I was eating scarmbled eggs in less than 5 minutes later; after not being able to eat!
    no man made pharmaceutical can do supass MMJ Healings !

  19. ps the reason I got sick in the first place was because Eric Holder clamping down on my green medicine!
    As an Anorexic: I depend on the Herb for “appetite etc. and when I do not have the Herb I am “a disaster!
    The War on Weed is a “man made disaster; STOP THE WAR !
    SAVE MY LIFE ! THANK YOU ! pps and I am feeling better thanks to Antibioitcs and God’s Green Herbs; Mints etc.

  20. pps Cannabis Sativa; the Medicinal Hemp Marijuana Herb
    IS a member of the Herb Family called “The Mints; such as Peppermint; Spearmint; Pennyroyal; Wild Hemp; + Marxhmallow; all Natural God grown herb; healing herbs

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  22. Love how most of these people are so excited for this.
    I mean c’mon, not only will it better the economy; but it will make peace through the state. Life will be good.

  23. I’d love some advice. I feel odd even searching for “marijuana” but I take herbal supplements for all kinds of things and really want to try this. I don’t want to inhale anything. I don’t want to be seen as a criminal. But, I also don’t want to stick some prescription CHEMICAL in my body for stress.

  24. Stressed,you want a high DBD Sativa for stress.Stay away from potent Indica strains until you feel comfortable with a milder low THC Sativa .Teas, extracts,confections.Are an alternative to smoke free vaporisors. Be well.

  25. Stressed. It would probably be illegal and unethical to advise you to do anything from that standpoint. But I would smoke a joint if a doctor prescribed it for pain. Marijuana can also be eaten without smoking, afaik it works as well.
    I’ve heard of people who were unable to move because of MS pain, and they smoked Marijuana and were not only ble to move, but actually feel normal again. I’ve heard from patients themselves who have said without a doubt marijuana works better than any drug (even morphine.) I have been considering getting a card just to support others who suffer from the horrible, lasting, effects of prohibition.
    I would like for it to be legal to self medicate for occasional pain, stress, sleeplessness, occasional unhappiness, loss of appetite or whatever else might ail me. I am after all a mature responsible adult. To bad our politicians aren’t so much. I usually hang on to unused Vicodin prescriptions to self medicate. I think Marijauna would do much less damage to my body than Vicodin. I don’t think I could find someone who could prove otherwise.
    I was thinking the dispensaries could point me to a good doctor. I’m with Kaiser, so I am guessing my normal doctor would not be able to help me “thrive”. Anyone got good pointers for finding a qualified doctor who is able/willing to prescribe marijuana? btw, imo, Kaiser would probably never prescribe Marijuana. They might end up losing clientel who realize they have no need for them anymore… Thank shameless lobbyists and politicians who depend on self interest groups who profit from the drug war and modern medicine for election campaign funds. The system is Fkd.

  26. to stressed; when the weed is legal in Conn. then you can make your own Herbal Hemp Brownies using “Cannabis Butter…”no smoke”…the problem with baking brownies is the expense; as you know weed is “expensive!

  27. To Anne: I’d love to know when the “when” part will be. As far as cost, I’m already spending $300/month on supplements from GNC. You can’t put a price tag on your health and sanity.
    To Kurt: Since I have no idea what any of that means, I’ll make sure to bookmark the page. 😉

  28. thanks stressed…”when/if” MMJ is available Ct. I will Bake some Brownies! I will contact u then; I agree you buying $300 supplements; Money well spent! I buy Hempseed butter @ manitiboharvest.com; “will buy Hempseed flour!

  29. ps DBD Hemp means a type of herb which has less thc in the leaves…well you know what they say: a woman’s place is in the kitchen; sifting Herb for the marijuana brownie party!
    (the party will be after the MMJ is “permitted

  30. Stressed if 5389 the raise bill for medical marijuana passes the Legislature it goes into effect in October you should be able to get a prescription by then.Cannabidinnols ,Cannabinals ,and Tetra Hydro-Cannabinol are the main active constituents in Cannabis.A high CBD low THC strain of weed is what you need for stress.As opposed to a high THC that could get you paranoid.There is a long distance between a “couch lock stone” and a mild “Buzz” I use Cannabis for stress.So you can vaporize or ingest orrally a Cannabis medicine with out smoking.Hempseed,and Hempseed Oils and butters contain no THC or Canabinols so there will be no calming.The butters I descripe are cooked out of Buds,and usually spread on toast.THC and Canabinols sgould be heated before injestion to make them effective and are fat and alcohol soluable.Also teas are effective. Good luck Be well ,Stressed, Kurt

  31. Hi Anne ,Industrial Hemp has no or hardly measurable amounts of THC which is produced on the leaves as a round globule of sunscreen called a trichome or a tricosome, ,and negligible amounts of medicinal value in the canabinols found in the leaves.The difference between drug cannabis and industrial hemp.The seeds seed cake and Hempseed oils however are fur of essential fatty acids and the most complete digestable proteen in the vegetable kingdom.The oils have higher levels of Omega 3/6/9 fatty acids than flaxseed oil and is more digestable.
    You can down load raised bill 5389 and see that you will still be an outlaw making those brownies.It is verry restrictive and allows no sharing with non-patients without a prescription.
    The allowed illnesses are few,Parkinson,MS.terminal cancer,crones disease.and a few others.Stressed will have to find a very understanding doctor.
    The bill also uses General statutes definition 420b as a definition of Cannabis and “marijuana” a flawed definition which outlaws viable marijuana seeds,and therefore opens the possibility of corporate controll of all state production.Luckily there is the possibility to improve the bill.We also should work on the full legalization of all Cannabis family members. Peace Kurt Gubrud /alias Johnathan Aluicious Hempseed lll

  32. Hi Kurt Johnny Hempseed…
    Thanks for the pertinent info; I use Hempseed Butter and hempseed oil for the Nutritinals…
    I use MMJ THC to as a prevention tool…Anne
    ps you wrote: You can down load raised bill 5389 and see that you will still be an outlaw making those brownies.,,
    my comment: a good cause to be an outlaw for !

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