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Marijuana in Connecticut: What you need to know

Marijuana has been a hugely controversial issue in America for decades, but there’s been a gradual shift in public perception about the drug. Marijuana has slowly gained acceptance as a fairly safe treatment for a number of painful and debilitating conditions. Connecticut has even taken steps toward legalizing the recreational use of the drug for adults.

You may have also heard that Connecticut has decriminalized possession of marijuana. The first time that someone is caught with a small amount of the drug, the offense is generally treated like a traffic violation — you get a ticket and a fine, but don’t wind up with a criminal record or any jail time.

That does not mean, however, that it’s “open season” for marijuana use in the state. Possession has only been decriminalized when you’re caught with one-half ounce or less of the drug at a time. If you happen to prefer edibles, for example, you could easily exceed that amount with just a small batch of “magic brownies” or something similar.

Possession of more than a half an ounce of marijuana will still cost you a hefty fine (up to $2,000) and could send you to jail for up to a year. Plus, you could be charged with distribution, depending on how much is in your possession, what other items or paraphernalia are found at the same time and the inclinations of the prosecutor.

Despite the relaxed attitudes toward marijuana use these days, it’s smart to remember that the drug is still illegal on a federal level and the patchwork of laws regarding marijuana possession across the nation is in constant flux. If you’re charged with a drug offense, get experienced legal assistance to protect your rights and your future.