Connecticut criminal defense attorneyThe evolution of the public’s attitude toward marijuana over the last few decades has been an interesting phenomenon to witness. The use of the drug has been long associated with a particular lifestyle—and, largely, a certain type of person. While such stereotypes were often inaccurate and potentially discriminatory, they have started to fall away in recent years.

Much of the change has come from the recognition that marijuana seems to have medicinal and palliative uses—so much so that 33 states have established legal, medical cannabis programs. In 10 states, however, it is legal for adults age 21 and over to purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes. Among these states is our neighbor to the north, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As the sale of recreational marijuana begins in Massachusetts, law enforcement officials here in Connecticut are reminding citizens that the drug is still illegal in the Constitution State.

The Law in Connecticut

In 2011, Connecticut lawmakers decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana—less than a half-ounce—but decriminalizing the drug is not the same as legalizing it. Those who are found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana can be cited for a civil violation and may face fines of up $150 for a first offense and $500 for a second offense. Possession of greater amounts of the drug is still a crime, however, and a conviction could lead to $2000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

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opioids, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyThe state of Connecticut is presently on pace to set a tragic record of more than 1,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017. If things continue on their current pace, 2017 will surpass last year’s record of 917 by a rather large margin. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an average of nearly three residents are dying from accidental drug overdoses every single day. While the word is not one that should be used lightly, but experts throughout the state and across the nation have rightfully identified the country’s opioid problem as a true “epidemic.”

Connecticut Governor Dannell P. Malloy has refused to sit quietly and let the issue go unaddressed. In fact, last month, he signed legislation for the fourth consecutive year aimed at curbing the crisis. This year’s new law may not be as far-reaching as those from the previous two years, it is a step in the right direction and was unanimously passed in both chambers of the state legislature.

A Progression of New Laws

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