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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Connecticut Considering Marijuana Decriminalization

A bill that has made it's way to the Connecticut State Senate could make possession of marijuana in the state a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor, the same as getting a parking ticket.

Penalties for those caught with marijuana would be reduced to a $100 fine.

The bill is bringing stiff opposition from senate republicans:

MarijuanaImage by warrantedarrest via Flickr
"The idea that we would decriminalize marijuana is one of the worst ideas I've heard in my 13 years in the state Senate," Republican Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said.

Former state rep Michael Lawlor who crafted the new bill said they have learned from what has and what has not worked in other states.

"We could simply cut to the chase. If you get caught, you could pay a $100 fine plus fees and costs. If you're a kid, the penalties are much more severe. If you're under 21, you're going to lose your driver's license for 60 days," Lawlor said.

Lawlor has also suggested that decriminalizing marijuana could help clear up the state's overburdened court system and allow courts and law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. 
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