Although Connecticut has relaxed its laws regarding possessing and using certain controlled substances like marijuana, drug-related criminal offenses are still prosecuted harshly. Even possession alone can be punishable by jail time and steep fines; being convicted of manufacturing, selling, or distributing controlled substances could lead to years or even decades of imprisonment.
Fortunately, help is available from a Waterbury drug lawyer at Ruane Attorneys. Our legal team could work tirelessly to protect your rights and secure a positive outcome in your case. No matter your criminal background or the charge you face, we can represent your best interests from beginning to end of the legal process.
Is Marijuana Fully Legalized in Waterbury?
As of January 10, 2023, the possession, purchase, and personal use of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use is fully legalized across the state of Connecticut. If they are over 21 years old, state residents can purchase up to seven grams—or one-fourth of an ounce—of marijuana in a single transaction and possess up to an ounce and a half total at one time. As of July 1, 2023, both medical patients and recreational consumers can grow a small number of marijuana plants for personal use inside their own residences.
However, Connecticut strictly regulates who can produce and sell marijuana in large quantities. Anyone found in possession of four ounces of marijuana or more may still be charged with a Class C misdemeanor under Connecticut General Statute §21a-279a(e). As a local drug attorney could explain, mass distribution or cultivation of marijuana outside of a licensed dispensary can still be prosecuted as felony drug trafficking, punishable by thousands of dollars in fines and multiple years of imprisonment, with greater penalties for repeat offenders.
Dealing with Other Types of Drug-Related Charges
Under C.G.S. §21a-279, possessing any amount of a controlled substance other than cannabis is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction could be punishable by a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. However, this same statute also gives courts the authority to suspend prosecution for someone dealing with drug dependency and instead order that they complete a substance abuse treatment program.
C.G.S. §21a-277 outlines the felony charge of possession with intent to sell, distribute, or manufacture any narcotic or hallucinogenic controlled substance. First-time offenders face a maximum 15-year prison term and a $50,000 fine, with increased penalties for subsequent offenses. Distribution or manufacture of most other controlled substances can result in a maximum seven-year prison term and a $25,000 fine.
One key exception is possession with intent to sell, distribute, or manufacture certain amounts of heroin, cocaine, or LSD by a non-drug-dependent person. Under C.G.S. §21a-278, this is a felony punishable by between five and 20 years of imprisonment for even a first-time offense. Second and subsequent offenses can result in 10 to 25 years in prison. When the stakes are this high, working with a Waterbury drug lawyer on a strong defense is crucial.
Contact a Waterbury Drug Attorney for Assistance
Connecticut’s drug laws can be complex and difficult to understand. With that in mind, it is always best to speak with legal counsel after being charged with any kind of drug-related offense. A Waterbury drug lawyer could provide the most up-to-date information and offer crucial guidance about building an effective defense.
Reach out to Ruane Attorneys today for the legal guidance and support you need. Call us today to schedule a consultation.