Legal cannabis possession tops the list of new Connecticut laws, which are scheduled to take effect today. Thursday, July 01, 2021. The most notable among the new set of rules is the one that aims to allow adults aged 21 years and older to possess small quantities of weed legally.
A new dawn in Connecticut’s cannabis space
The new law marks the first step in Connecticut’s more towards cannabis legalization. Earlier in June, just on the heels of the regular 2021 session, state legislators voted in support of the bill to adopt wide-ranging cannabis legislation. The new law lays the foundation for a new legal cannabis industry in Connecticut.
Additionally, it aims to address racial inequities that arise from the nation’s war on drugs. According to analysts, it’s likely to take at least one year before the industry is up and running. Other fresh laws that take effect from July 1 include expanded access to a birth certificate for adoptees and establishing a new 22-member commission to study disparate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Details of the new law
Starting July 1, Connecticut residents aged 21 years and older will be able to possess and/or consume up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of “cannabis plant material.” They will also be able to possess and/or consume up to 5 ounces (141.7 grams) of cannabis locked in a container in a home or the trunk or locked glove box in one’s vehicle.
Those who violate the guidelines will face fines and other measures ranging from mandatory referral to youth services bureaus for repeat juvenile offenders. Also, beginning July 1, police will not use the odor of cannabis or burnt cannabis as a probable cause or a reasonable suspicion to flag and/or search an individual or a vehicle.
However, the Connecticut legal cannabis law allows police officers to test for impairment if there’s a reasonable suspicion that the driver and/or passenger may be under the influence of marijuana. Last week, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council issued a 10-page training bulletin to chiefs, resident state troopers, training officers, and other law-enforcement agencies. The bulletin outlines changes in the complicated new law.
The bulletin also highlights how cannabis and hemp will now be categorized with tobacco when it comes to areas where smoking is prohibited, from restaurants to partially enclosed bus shelters. The law also prohibits using cannabis on state lands and waters that are managed by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.