We can pretend that this is irrelevant to Wesleyan, but over the past week and a half we’ve talked about ~100 Wes students per year getting disciplined for drug abuse and the seizure of 29 pounds of weed in Middletown mail.
While the decriminalization of marijuana doesn’t actually legalize it, it does change the way Connecticut law treats offenses. Connecticut will be the fourteenth state to have this attitude towards Wesleyan’s favorite herb, in line with Massachusetts and New York. The Hartford Courant has a pretty good description of what the rules might look like next month:
The decriminalization bill would make the possession of a half-ounce of marijuana or less–about 30 joints — akin to receiving a speeding ticket rather than a criminal offense. First-time offenders would face a $150 fine; second and subsequent offenses would draw a penalty of at least $200 but no more than $500.
Under current laws, people in possession of up to four ounces can be jailed for a year in addition to a $1,000 fine. That’s a pretty significant shift. Before you celebrate with a joint of your own though, know that it won’t be quite as simple for many Wes students:
As part of a compromise, the Senate amended the measure to stiffen the punishment for young people caught with the drug. The possession and use of even a small amount of marijuana by a person 21 or younger would result in a 60-day driver’s license suspension.
It’s the same magic age when you become adult enough to buy alcohol, although I’m not sure what effect this will have (if any at all) on consumption on campus.
To be clear, Governor Malloy has NOT yet signed the bill into law, but he’s pretty eager to. Unfortunately, the most recent CT House act I can find on the ct.gov site is an act concerning biting guide dogs from last week.