hartford drug crime defense lawyerDrug addiction can be a difficult burden to bear, and it can affect both an addict and their loved ones. Unfortunately, many addicts become caught up in the criminal justice system, and they may face drug charges for possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, or drug trafficking. In addition to or instead of facing criminal charges, some addicts may be forced to undergo treatment meant to help them overcome their addictions. However, some advocates have questioned the effectiveness of these forms of treatment and raised concerns about how “involuntary commitment” laws may violate people’s rights.

Civil Commitment for Drug Addicts

Multiple states have laws that allow a person to be forced to complete rehabilitation or other forms of addiction treatment. This is sometimes seen as a compassionate solution that will ensure that those who may be a threat to themselves or others can take steps to address issues related to addiction and get their lives back on track. Many family members support these programs, and they may believe that they are the only option for a person who has refused to accept help.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that these forms of treatment are often ineffective. While some may benefit from forced rehab, they are usually in the minority, and in most cases, these programs do not result in significant reductions in drug use or drug-related crimes. Some studies have even shown that involuntary treatment programs have led to increases in drug crimes and higher rates of overdoses or other negative outcomes for those who have been required forced to undergo treatment. Many advocates believe that voluntary treatment programs are much more effective, especially when a person is encouraged to work toward achieving life and career goals and receives assistance from family members.


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.


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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