OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 349

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PENALTY FOR POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA.

SUMMARY:

This bill decriminalizes the illegal possession of less than one half ounce of marijuana by anyone age 18 or older by reducing the penalty to a violation punishable by a $ 250 fine. Violators may pay the fine by mail to the Centralized Infractions Bureau.

The bill leaves the current penalty in place for possession of (1) less than one half ounce by people under age 18 and (2) one-half ounce to four ounces by anyone. Under current law, first offenders may be imprisoned for up to one year, fined up to $ 1,000, or both. Subsequent offenders may be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to $ 3,000, or both.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Marijuana Tax

The law prohibits anyone from purchasing, acquiring, transporting, or importing marijuana or controlled substances into the state and imposes a tax on violators.

Related Bill

sHB 6587, favorably reported by the Planning and Development Committee, entitles municipalities to 40% of the marijuana tax under certain circumstances.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

14

(03/31/2009)