Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed his Second Chance Society bill into law, significantly reforming the state’s drug laws.
The new law, in addition to other changes, removes felony charges for the first-time, personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the offense to a misdemeanor. This would reduce the maximum jail sentence to one year, down from seven years.
Connecticut’s drug laws will go from some of the most draconian in the country to some of the most lenient this fall when most drug possession crimes are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, a change that’s increasingly finding common ground between Democrats and Republicans.
Possession of small amounts of hard drugs including heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine — crimes that currently could land an offender in prison for up to seven years for a first offense — would be dialed back to a misdemeanor. And a mandatory two-year prison term for possessing drugs within 1,500 feet of a school — a law decried by civil liberties advocates as among the worst in the country — will be eliminated.
With the clocks striking midnight, July 1st is now upon us and laws legalizing cannabis and hemp have taken effect in Oregon and Connecticut.
In Oregon, it is now entirely legal for anyone 21 and older to possess up to half a pound of cannabis at a private residence, or up to an ounce of cannabis in public. They’re also allowed to cultivate up to four plants for personal use. This is due to portions of Measure 91, approved by voters last year, taking effect.
In Connecticut, thanks to House Bill 5780, it’s now legal to cultivate an unlimited amount of hemp without first receiving a license from the state. Under the new law, hemp, which is defined as having no more than 1% THC, is treated like other agricultural products such as tomatoes.
On Wednesday, July 1st, House Bill 5780 will become law in Connecticut, legalizing the unlimited cultivation of industrial hemp.
The new law, which officially takes effect at 12:00am on July 1st, removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, legalizing it for all purposes. This means that hemp will be treated like other agricultural commodities such as tomatoes. Farmers will not be required to receive a license from the state, and no limit will be imposed on the number of plants they can cultivate. They will, however, need to maintain a THC level of no more than 1% in all of their plants (if it goes above that, it will be considered cannabis and remain illegal), though that number is higher than the 0.3% limit established in most states that have legalized the crop.
A bill to end hemp prohibition in Connecticut has become law without the governor’s signature. The measure was passed by the state’s Senate unanimously 36 to 0, and was approved by the state’s House of Representatives with a 142 to 2 vote.
The new law – which goes into effect on July 1st – ends hemp prohibition in its entirety, removing hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances. This allows farmers to cultivate the crop without needing to first receive a license from the state, meaning it would be treated like other agriculture commodities, such as tomatoes. According to an official summary of the bill, it “allows industrial hemp to be grown, used, and sold under state law”.
A bill to remove felony charges for personal drug possession, reducing it to a misdemeanor, has been passed by Connecticut’s full Senate with a 22 to 14 vote, according to the Associated Press.
The measure, which is part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Second Chance Society proposal, received wide bipartisan support, including being supported by Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, both Republicans.
Shortly after Connecticut’s full House of Representatives gave approval to legislation that would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, the state’s Senate has passed the same bill with a unanimous 36 to 0 vote. The vote in the House was 142 to 2.
House Bill 5780 would end hemp prohibition in its entirety, removing hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances. This would allow farmers to cultivate the crop without needing to first receive a license from the state, meaning it would be treated like other agriculture commodities such as tomatoes.
Connecticut’sSenate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to approve Senate Bill 1064, a proposal to make several changes to the state’s medical cannabis law, including allowing those under 18 to become medical cannabis patients.
Senate Bill 1064 would allow those under 18 to possess and use medical cannabis if they receive a recommendation from a pediatrician and a physician, and have approval from a parent or legal guardian. The proposal would also direct the Department of Consumer Protections to conduct a research program on the medical benefits of cannabis.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that those convicted of past cannabis possession misdemeanors can have the charges erased from their record because the state decriminalized the substance in 2011. The ruling was unanimous, 7 to 0.
The court ruled in favor of Nicholas Menditto, overturning the ruling of a state Appellate Court which decided that Menditto couldn’t have his two cannabis possession convictions from 2009 removed from his record, despite the offenses no longer being criminal.