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Connecticut Joint Committee Approves Marijuana Resentencing Bill For People Still Incarcerated Post-Legalization

Connecticut lawmakers have approved a bill to provide sentencing relief to people who are still incarcerated over marijuana despite the state enacting legalization.

The legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee advanced the legislation from Rep. Josh Elliott (D) on Monday. SB 444 would create a pathway for the dismissal or sentencing reduction of cases involving cannabis offenses that have since been made legal.

People who are incarcerated, on probation or participating in diversionary programs for marijuana possession, paraphernalia possession or distribution would be eligible to have their cases reviewed and potentially discharged.

The committee co-chair, Rep. Steve Stafstrom (D), said during Monday’s hearing that while “the goals of this bill are very laudable,” he considers it a work in progress with logistical issues related to identifying eligible cases. However, he agreed to hold a vote because lawmakers were facing a legislative deadline to advance the measure from committee to keep it alive for the session.

“I think we’re still struggling with how to actually effectuate this bill—the intent of this bill—given the recognition that, frankly, a lot of our drug possession offenses were categorized as the same and it would really take some manual work to go through the records to determine

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