Since late 2012, residents of Connecticut have been allowed to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes. Despite the passage of the medical marijuana law, however, those in need of the drug for medical reasons still face challenges in obtaining the substance.

The law allows those with certain debilitating medical conditions to possess a one-month supply of marijuana to use for medical purposes. These patients must receive a written certification from a doctor to use medical marijuana.

The intention was for patients meeting the criteria to then obtain medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries in Connecticut. Although the law has been in effect for over a year, however, the dispensaries are not yet up and running. Consequently, those in need of medical marijuana are finding themselves in a difficult position. While they are legally allowed to possess marijuana for medical reasons, there is no simple way to obtain the drug.

Avoid penalties for marijuana possession in Connecticut

While medical marijuana is legal in Connecticut, penalties still exist for those found in possession of the drug who do not need it for medical reasons. The penalties for marijuana possession for personal use vary in Connecticut, depending on whether the individual has prior offenses and on the amount found in the individual's possession.

For instance, an individual found in possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana may face a maximum fine of $150. If an individual is in possession of the same amount of marijuana, but has prior offenses, he or she could be fined up to $500.

The penalties increase if the individual is found in possession of one-half ounce to four ounces of marijuana. Upon a first offense, he or she could receive a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Upon subsequent offenses for the same quantity of marijuana, an individual can be sent to jail for up to five years and be fined up to $3,000.

The most severe penalties are doled out to those in possession of more than four ounces of marijuana. Upon a first such offense, an individual can face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If he or she has subsequent offenses, the jail sentence increases to a maximum of 10 years and the fine to a maximum of $5,000.

If you or a loved one is facing penalties due to marijuana possession for personal use, you ought to take the time to protect yourself. Consider seeking the counsel of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

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