Definition of the Drug

Connecticut law classifies hallucinogens according to their effect. For example, the tendency to “assert a confusional. Or, disorganizing effect upon mental processes or behavior and mimic acute psychotic disturbances”. Also, these drugs can occur naturally or through synthesis.  Despite its psychedelic properties, marijuana is not classified as a “hallucinogenic substance” for legal purposes. The statutory definition of hallucinogen provides examples. Examples of such drugs such as mescaline, peyote, and LSD. However this list is not exhaustive. Psilocybin containing mushrooms, ecstasy (MDMA), PCP (angel dust), and ketamine (Special K) are also classified as hallucinogens.  Furthermore, Connecticut law contains a sub-category of hallucinogenic substances. This section contains five milligrams or more of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.

Hallucinogen Laws

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-240(23)

(23) “Hallucinogenic substances” are psychodysleptic substances. They assert a confusional or disorganizing effect upon mental processes or behavior and mimic acute psychotic disturbances. Exemplary of such drugs are:

  • Mescaline.
  • Peyote.
  • Silocyn.
  • D-lysergic acid diethylamide.

Also, these are controlled substances under this chapter unless modified.

Possession

Please see our pages on possession for a detailed discussion on what act or acts constitute possession.

Simple Possession

Possession of a hallucinogen substance carries some of the harshest penalties under Connecticut law.  There is no charge equating to misdemeanor or “simple” possession of a hallucinogen substance.  Possession of any amount of hallucinogen substance, no matter how small, is classified as a felony offense.

Felony Possession

Felonies are the most serious crimes in any system of criminal law. A standard definition of a felony is any crime punishable by more than one year in prison or by death.

Often the offense itself does not get a felony label. But, the punishment tells the public that the offense is a felony. Additionally, statutes may label a crime a “gross” or “aggravated” misdemeanor. But, this happens provide for a sentence of more than one year in the state penitentiary system. This ensures that the offense gets treated as felony in many respects.

A person convicted of a felony may have more restrictions on their rights than a person convicted of a lesser crime. In many jurisdictions, felons cannot serve on juries. Often times they lose their right to vote or to practice certain professions, such as lawyer or teacher. Felons may not own guns or serve in the military.

Penalties for Felony Possession

For a first conviction of possession of a hallucinogen substance, you face up to five years in jail. Also, you face up to a $2,000.00 fine.
For a second or (subsequent) conviction of possession of a hallucinogen substance, you face up to 10 years in jail. Also, you face up to a $5,000.00 fine.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-279. Penalty for Illegal Possession. Alternative Sentences.

(b) Any person who possesses or has under their control any quantity of a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana or four ounces or more of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, for a first offense, may be imprisoned not more than five years or be fined not more than two thousand dollars or be both fined and imprisoned, and for a subsequent offense may be imprisoned not more than ten years or be fined not more than five thousand dollars or be both fined and imprisoned.

Possession with Intent to Sell

Please see our pages on possession with intent. This provides a detailed discussion on what act or acts constitute this crime.

Penalties for Possession of a Hallucinogenic Substance with Intent to Sell

a. Possession of a Hallucinogenic Substance with Intent to Sell by a Non-drug Dependent Person

For a first conviction of possession of a hallucinogenic substance with intent to sell you are facing from five to 20 years in prison.

For a second or subsequence conviction of possession of a hallucinogenic substance with intent to sell you are facing from 10 to 25 years in prison.

b. Possession of a Substance that Contains Five Milligrams or  More of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide with Intent to Sell by a Non-drug Dependent Person

Connecticut imposes particularly harsh penalties on individuals who are in possession with intent to distribute more than five milligrams of LSD. Individuals charged with possessing five milligrams or more usually don’t get prosecuted under federal law (as no Connecticut case law exists on the subject). Under the federal guidelines the weight of LSD will calculated by the whole weight of the blotter paper or other carrier medium containing the drug. (See Neal v. U.S., 516 U.S. 284 (1996)). While the federal mandatory minimum sentences get triggered at a slightly higher threshold, 10 milligrams, because the weight of LSD and carrier medium get combined, possession with intent to distribute virtually any amount of LSD will trigger the mandatory minimum sentence.

For any conviction of this crime, you are facing from five to 20 years in prison. Also, you face a maximum of a life sentence.

c. Possession of a Hallucinogenic Substance with Intent to Sell by a Drug Dependant Person

For a first conviction of possession of a hallucinogenic substance with intent to sell by a drug dependent person, you are facing up to 15 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.

Then, for a second conviction of possession of a hallucinogenic substance with intent to sell by a drug dependent person, you are facing up to 30 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

For a third (or subsequent) conviction of possession of a hallucinogenic substance with intent to sell by a drug dependent person, you are facing up to 30 years in prison or up to a $250,000 fine.

Penalties for Possession of a Hallucinogenic Substance with Intent to Sell: Relevant Statutes

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-277. Penalty for illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription, dispensing.

A

Any person who manufactures, distributes, sells, prescribes, dispenses, compounds, transports with the intent to sell or dispense, possesses with the intent to sell or dispense, offers, gives or administers to another person any controlled substance which is a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana, or a narcotic substance, except as authorized in this chapter, for a first offense, shall be imprisoned not more than fifteen years and may be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars or be both fined and imprisoned; and for a second offense shall be imprisoned not more than thirty years and may be fined not more than one hundred thousand dollars, or be both fined and imprisoned; and for each subsequent offense, shall be imprisoned not more than thirty years and may be fined not more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars, or be both fined and imprisoned.

D

As an alternative to the sentences specified in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the court may sentence the person to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for an indeterminate term not to exceed three years or the maximum term specified for the offense, whichever is the lesser, and, at any time within such indeterminate term and without regard to any other provision of law regarding minimum term of confinement, the Commissioner of Correction may release the convicted person so sentenced subject to such conditions as they may impose including, but not limited to, supervision by suitable authority. At any time during such indeterminate term, the Commissioner of Correction may revoke any such conditional release in their discretion for violation of the conditions imposed and return the convicted person to a correctional institution.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-278. Penalty for illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration by non-drug dependent person

A

Any person who manufactures, distributes, sells, prescribes, dispenses, compounds, transports with the intent to sell or dispense, possesses with the intent to sell or dispense, offers, gives or administers to another person one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing an aggregate weight of one ounce or more of heroin or methadone or an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more of cocaine or one-half ounce or more of cocaine in a free-base form, or a substance containing five milligrams or more of lysergic acid diethylamide, except as authorized in this chapter, and who is not, at the time of such action, a drug-dependent person, shall be imprisoned for a minimum term of not less than five years or more than twenty years; and, a maximum term of life imprisonment.

The execution of the mandatory minimum sentence imposed by the provisions of this subsection shall not be suspended, except the court may suspend the execution of such mandatory minimum sentence if at the time of the commission of the offense (1) such person was under the age of eighteen years, or (2) such person’s mental capacity was significantly impaired, but not so impaired as to constitute a defense to prosecution.

B

Any person who manufactures, distributes, sells, prescribes, dispenses, compounds, transports with the intent to sell or dispense, possesses with the intent to sell or dispense, offers, gives or administers to another person any narcotic substance, hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana, amphetamine-type substance, or one kilogram or more of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, and who is not, at the time of such action, a drug dependent person, for a first offense shall be imprisoned not less than five years or more than twenty years; and for each subsequent offense shall be imprisoned not less than ten years or more than twenty-five years.

The execution of the mandatory minimum sentence imposed by the provisions of this subsection shall not be suspended, except the court may suspend the execution of such mandatory minimum sentence if at the time of the commission of the offense (1) such person was under the age of eighteen years, or (2) such person’s mental capacity was significantly impaired, but not so impaired as to constitute a defense to prosecution.

Possession Near a Prohibited Place

Please see our pages on possession near a prohibited for a detailed discussion on what act or acts constitute this crime.

Penalties for Possession Near a Prohibited Place

You face up to 3 years in prison. Also, the sentence should happen consecutively in addition to any prison time for the underlying offense.

§ 21a-278a. Penalty for illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or administration

B

Any person who violates section 21a-277 or 21a-278 by manufacturing, distributing, selling, prescribing, dispensing, compounding, transporting with the intent to sell or dispense, possessing with the intent to sell or dispense, offering, giving or administering to another person any controlled substance in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project or a licensed child day care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child day care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place shall be imprisoned for a term of three years, which shall not be suspended and shall be in addition and consecutive to any term of imprisonment imposed for violation of section 21a-277 or 21a-278.

To constitute a violation of this subsection, an act of transporting or possessing a controlled substance shall be with intent to sell or dispense in or on, or within one thousand five hundred feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, a public housing project or a licensed child day care center, as defined in section 19a-77, that is identified as a child day care center by a sign posted in a conspicuous place. For the purposes of this subsection, “public housing project” means dwelling accommodations operated as a state or federally subsidized multifamily housing project by a housing authority, nonprofit corporation or municipal developer, as defined in section 8-39, pursuant to chapter 128 or by the Connecticut Housing Authority pursuant to chapter 129.

The Drug Dependent Person

In addition, please see our pages on the drug dependent person for a detailed discussion.

Conspiracy

Also, please see our pages on the drug dependent person for a detailed discussion.

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