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Proposed Drug Tax in Connecticut May Increase Drug Busts

Earlier this spring, a public hearing was held in Connecticut regarding a little-known state tax that affects anyone arrested in a drug bust.

In 1991, Connecticut passed the Marijuana and Controlled Substances Tax, which taxes marijuana at a $3.50 per every gram obtained in a drug bust, and $200 per gram cocaine and heroin. The state can collect the tax immediately upon arrest and the money is put into the state General Fund.

However, the state has not regularly been collecting this tax against the alleged dealer or possessor of the drug seized. In order to increase revenue, and drug enforcement, two Connecticut legislators have proposed a change in the law to allow local cities the opportunity to collect the tax themselves. Considering the cash-strapped nature of many local governments, the incentive would certainly be there for cities to conduct drug busts, especially for large quantities of illegal substances.

A public hearing was held on March 9, 2012 to discuss the bill. As yet, no further actions have been taken on the proposed change to the law, and the bill stalled in committee this past legislative session. However, the two Republican senators behind the bill, Rep. Arthur O’Neill, from Southbury, and Sen. Robert Kane, of Watertown, have been championing the bill for several years and will likely seek to take further action on the measure in future sessions.Sen. Robert Kane, a Republican from Watertown,Sen. Robert Kane, a Republican from Watertown,

Connecticut Drug Offense Laws

The first thought for anyone arrested on a suspected drug offense is probably not about taxes. Drug possession laws in Connecticut can be very strict, even for nonviolent offenses, and government seizure of property just adds insult to injury. If you have been charged with a drug possession or drug trafficking charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights and defend yourself in court.