Updated on January 3, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana penalties in Connecticut were eliminated in 2012 when the state’s medical cannabis program went into law. Patients suffering from a wide range of medical conditions were eligible to use weed as long as they had a valid registration certificate. They would not be subject to any arrest, nor penalized in any manner. In addition, possession of a small amount of pot is punishable only by a civil fine.
Patients suffering from qualifying conditions will not face any Connecticut medical marijuana penalties as long as they possess no more than 2.5 ounces of weed. This is considered a “one-month” supply under Connecticut law. However, a patient may be allowed to possess more than that amount if his or her doctor determines the patient needs a larger supply to deal with the symptoms of the condition. Qualifying conditions include cerebral palsy, irreversible spinal cord injuries accompanied by spasticity, epileptic seizures, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and many others.
Cultivation is not allowed for medicinal marijuana, but there are nine dispensaries located throughout the state. Patients suffering from a qualifying condition are limited to one caregiver who will be allowed to procure medicinal cannabis on their behalf.
The state of Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed. If someone is caught with less than a half an ounce of pot, he or she will only face a civil fine of $150 for a first offense. For second or subsequent offenses involving the same amount, the amount of the fine goes up to $500.
However, the punishments ramp up considerably for those caught with larger amounts of weed. The penalties for possession of between a half an ounce up to four ounces are up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000. Second and subsequent convictions are considered felonies that are punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $3,000. A first offense for possession of four ounces or more is a felony that carries penalties of as long as five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Penalties for subsequent offenses are up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Again, cultivation of any cannabis — whether it’s used for medical or non-medical purposes — is illegal under Connecticut law. The penalties for a first offense of cultivation of less than a kilogram are up to seven years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
Subsequent convictions are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. A conviction for cultivation of more than a kilogram will result in a prison term of between five to 20 years and a fine of up to $25,000. Subsequent convictions carry penalties of between 10 to 25 years in prison and a fine of as much as $100,000.
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