New Criminal Offenses Created By Connecticut's Marijuana Legalization Law

I've written before how Connecticut legalized the adult use of recreational marijuana. The new law, Public Act 21-1, does that but also changes some other drug-related laws (as they pertain to marijuana) and creates some new criminal offenses. The activities themselves were not exactly legal previously because they involved the possession or distribution of marijuana, which was then a completely illegal substance. The following are new misdemeanors of varying degrees:

  • Consuming (smoking or other means) marijuana while in a motor vehicle as a driver or passenger
  • Using a fake ID or otherwise mirepresenting one's age to purchase marijuana from a retailer
  • Provding marijuana to a person under the age of 21
  • Inducing a person under the age of 21 to procure cannabis from a person licensed to sell it
  • For anyone who exerts control over a home or property; permitting a person under the age of 21 to possess cannabis  (very similar to the alcohol possession laws) or failing to make an effort to halt possession
  • For cannabis retailers; permitting a person under the age of 21 to loiter in their establishments

It is important to note that the legalization of possession applies only to individuals who are age 21 and over. Similar to the alcohol possession laws, an individual under the age of 21 who possesses what would even be a legal quantity for an adult is subject to an infraction, the conviction of which triggers a driver's license suspension.

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