Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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What are Connecticut’s marijuana laws?

As more and more states are legalizing both medicinal and recreational marijuana, it is imperative that Connecticut residents know where the state stands. The use of medical marijuana is legal, according to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, for qualifying patients.

Under the state’s laws, people who have glaucoma, epilepsy, cancer, Parkinson’s disease or any other medical condition will not be subject to arrest for using medical marijuana as long as they have registered with the DCP. The law also specifies the following when it comes to using cannabis medicinally:

  •        A physician must put in writing that the patient should use the substance.
  •        Patients and their primary caregivers may not possess a combined amount of more than one month’s supply of medical marijuana.
  •        Protection from arrest does not extend to people using it – even medicinally – while operating a vehicle, at work, in public or on school grounds.

The law also does not offer protection to anyone using medical marijuana in the presence of a minor.

Outside of medical treatment, Connecticut still considers marijuana an illegal substance. Using or possessing it could result in criminal charges. For example, the law states that a first-time offense involving less than half an ounce could result in a $150 fine. However, having between half an ounce and 4 ounces could merit up to a year in prison for a first time offense. Subsequent infractions can result in five years in prison and $3,000 in fines. Connecticut also has a mandatory prison sentence of two years if you are caught with marijuana within 1,500 feet of either a day care or an elementary/secondary school.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would approve the recreational use of marijuana. However, until that passes, you should be aware that possessing the substance without a medical registration card could end in serious consequences.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice. 

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