How Was Medical Marijuana Legalized in Connecticut?

The Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Connecticut

The fight for medical cannabis in Connecticut was a lengthy and tumultuous journey, with roots dating back to the production of industrial hemp after World War II. The state criminalized marijuana along with the rest of the United States with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.

However, many activists and politicians have collaborated over the past few decades to pass legislation for medical marijuana in Connecticut. Although the journey was complex, medical cannabis is now readily available for patients across the state.

The 2011 Decriminalization of Marijuana

While cannabis was illegal for medical and recreational use prior to 2011, the state began taking its first steps toward legalization during this year. Then-Governor Dannel Malloy signed a General Assembly measure decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, reducing the amount of people sent to prison for this act.

Under the new bill, Connecticut eliminated misdemeanor punishments for possession of marijuana up to half an ounce. First-time offenders pay a $150 fine, and subsequent offenses lead to fines between $200 to $500. Minors under the age of 21 face a 60-day driver’s license suspension as well. Prior to the passage of this legislation, offenders faced a $1,000 fine and potential jail time.

The Passage of House Bill 5389

In December 2012, patients who fought for the right to use medical marijuana saw victory with the passage of House Bill 5389, or “An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana.” Governor Malloy signed the bill into law following a 21-13 vote in the state Senate.

This law established the Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), allowing patients to apply for a cannabis card if they have a qualifying condition. If a patient has a condition that is not on the approved list, they can submit a petition to the Department of Consumer Protection to add their condition to the list.

HB 5389 also allowed for the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and the cultivation of medical marijuana plants. Patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces, unless their physician recommends a smaller amount, at any licensed dispensary operating within the state of Connecticut. The law also prohibits patients from growing their own cannabis.

Contact Sanctuary Wellness Institute Today

If you have a qualifying condition and want to apply for a Connecticut medical marijuana card, the Sanctuary Wellness Institute is here for you. We advocate for medical cannabis patients by connecting them with certified physicians who can evaluate their conditions and approve them for a medical marijuana card.

Our friendly staff is available to connect you with a Connecticut cannabis doctor and answer any questions you have about the process. Start your journey today by calling the Sanctuary at (800) 453-7181.