Connecticut Governor Signs Drug Sentencing Reform Bill

Governor Dannel Malloy signing House Bill 7104 into law.
Governor Dannel Malloy signing House Bill 7104 into law.

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.

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Connecticut Legislature Votes to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession, Governor to Sign Measure Into Law

By Associated Press

connConnecticut’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.

Read moreConnecticut Legislature Votes to Defelonize Personal Drug Possession, Governor to Sign Measure Into Law

Legislation Ending Hemp Prohibition Becomes Law in Connecticut

Plants-from-hempA 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”.

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Drug Defelonization Bill Approved by Connecticut’s Full Senate

connA 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.

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Connecticut Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp Passes Senate Unanimously, Heads to Governor

hempShortly 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.

Read moreConnecticut Bill to Legalize Industrial Hemp Passes Senate Unanimously, Heads to Governor

Connecticut Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill Into Law

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has officially signed into law a proposal (House Bill 5476) to allow the state to study the feasibility of legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Connecticut's flag.
Connecticut’s flag.

Under the new law, the Commissioners of Agriculture, Consumer Protection and Economic and Community Development will be tasked with studying the feasibility of legalizing industrial hemp for “the purpose of encouraging economic development and increasing the number of new businesses in this state.” The state has until January 1st to establish a limit on the amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) allowed in industrial hemp.

Read moreConnecticut Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill Into Law