The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Supporters say it will free up an already overburdened court system, while critics say it's a dangerous step toward legalizing marijuana possession.
According to a CBS article, the bill would impose an infraction for possessing small amounts of marijuana, instead of a misdemeanor and possible prison term. CBS reports that the legislation passed the finance committee Tuesday by a 31-20 vote, and that it now moves to the Senate.
John Thomas, a Quinnipiac University School of Law professor who specializes in law and medicine, said, "I believe this bill makes for good social and economic policy. From the social policy perspective, it aligns Connecticut with New York and Massachusetts and articulates a drug policy that is not so draconian that it cannot practically be enforced."
"From an economic perspective," he added, "the bill ensures that in times of financial challenge, the state will not use its law enforcement resources to prosecute and incarcerate individuals for modest transgressions against social mores."