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Marijuana Arrests Down After Decriminalization [Updated with Clarification]

Fewer arrests means less work for the courts.

[Clarification: The number of arrests in 2011 have been changed to differentiate between tickets and actual arrests.]

Connecticut’s decriminalization of marijuana, which allows police departments to issue fines rather than arrests, has been in effect since July 1. The courts are already dealing with less of a case load due to the new law.

According to the Connecticut Post, there were 4,774 marijuana arrests from July 1-Dec. 1, 2010 for possession of marijuana less than four ounces. With the new law, there have been 1,127 arrests in that same period in 2011. There were nearly 2,000 tickets issued.

Under the old law, possession of less than four ounces or drug paraphernalia containing marijuana residue was a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of more than four ounces is a felony with more serious penalties.

According to the article, it’s possible officers are letting people off with a warning rather than issuing a ticket.

The decriminalization law, Public Act 11-71, reduced the penalty for possession of one-half ounce or less to a $150 fine, to a $200 to $500 fine for the second offense, and the higher fine plus referral to a drug awareness program for the third offense.

Anyone under age 21 also faces a 60-day driver’s license suspension. Penalties for possession of more than one-half ounce remain the same as before.

Fred Musante contributed to this report.

Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 12:44 AM
This is good news. I support the police going after non-consensual crimes.
Michael Micelli July 31, 2012 at 07:05 AM
The laws are getting a little better but it is still way too strict. Their is a movement within the pot smoking community to all vote for Gary Johnson in this election. The online poker players are also secretly buying Gary Johnson stock on Intrade and then working behind the scenes to get Gary Johnson elected president. Google Heaven's Aces In The Hole to find the secret agenda.
Michael Micelli July 31, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Pot will become a big issue in the up coming Presidential election because of Honest Gary Johnson. http://heavensacesinthehole.com
Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 02:21 PM
"Gary Johnson stock on Intrade" I didn't realize that you could buy stock in a human being. Sounds fishy.
Michael Micelli July 31, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Keven, just go to intrade.com and you will see what I mean.
Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Interesting stuff.

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