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Misconceptions About Marijuana Possession in Connecticut

 Posted on December 28,2021 in Drug Charges

CT defense lawyer UPDATE: It has been a decade since Connecticut decriminalized marijuana, but in 2021, lawmakers voted to make additional changes to the law. Some of those changes have already taken place, while others will be taking place in 2022 or later.

In July, the law was changed so that adults who are 21 years of age or older are now able to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis on their person or up to five ounces in a locked container in their home or a locked glove compartment or trunk in their vehicle.

As of October, any adults 18 years or older who have been issued medical marijuana cards are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants inside their residence. Beginning in July 2023, any adult who is 21 years or older will be allowed to grow up to six plants indoors.

Another change to the law takes effect on July 1, 2022. Individuals with prior marijuana possession arrests can petition the court to have those records erased. According to the law, if a person was charged with possession of four ounces of less before January 1, 2000, or charged between October 1, 2015, through June 30, 2021, they can petition the court to have those charges arrested from their records.

If an individual was charged with possession of four ounces or less between January 1, 2000, to September 30, 2015, their charges will automatically be erased beginning on January 1, 2023.


In 2011, Connecticut’s then-governor signed legislation decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, reducing the sentence from incarceration to a fine, between $150-$500 per offense. However, too many people hear this and assume that this means no consequences for possession at all. In reality, being charged with possession of any drug is still a serious offense that requires an experienced legal professional to manage.

Infractions vs. Crimes

Decriminalized offenses are still considered infractions, which means that consequences still attach. While these offenses do not carry a penalty of incarceration, they do still carry fines, and can still cause serious problems in the future, since a possession conviction as an adult will generally remain on a person’s criminal record. Also, after your second conviction for this infraction, you can be ordered into a drug treatment program by the court.

It may seem a good idea to simply pay a ticket for possession of marijuana, but in reality, it causes far more trouble than it alleviates in the short-term. Admitting your guilt means that the offense remains on your record, where it can be visible to future employers, loan officers, and others in positions of authority. In most situations, it is best to try and fight the charge, so you can potentially duck that blemish on your record.

Larger Amounts Can Result in Jail Time

In addition to the fact that possession of small amounts of marijuana still carries consequences, possession of amounts over one half-ounce is still a crime, carrying potential sentences of incarceration and fines far more serious than the infractions. If, for example, you are caught with more than one-half ounce of marijuana, you face up to one year in prison, but a subsequent conviction for the same offense is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

It is still possible, if unlikely, to defend against such a charge. The concept of ‘possession’ can be vague, and sometimes a prosecutor may have difficulty proving actual possession of the drugs. It is also more common than one might think that law enforcement may cut corners, meaning that the evidence used to charge you might have come from an illegal search. Either way, having an experienced attorney on your side can be a huge help.

Can a Stamford Marijuana Possession Attorney Help You?

One instance of marijuana possession can cause long-term problems for a person, so it is important to be aware of your options if you have been ticketed or charged. Contacting a skilled Fairfield County drug possession attorney can ensure that your rights are protected while dealing with law enforcement. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has handled many of these cases and is happy to try and assist with yours. Contact our offices today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.



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