|Graphic: The Fresh Scent|
18-18 Tie Was Broken By Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman
The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill now goes to the state House.
The measure passed on Saturday after Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman broke an 18-to-18 tie vote. The bill now moves to the Connecticut House of Representatives for final action, report Susan Haigh and Cory Ziman for the Associated Press.
|Photo: The Danbury News-Times|
|Yay Nancy! Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman broke the 18-18 tie, so the bill passed in the Connecticut Senate.|
The legislation will help young people arrested for marijuana possession to avoid a criminal record that could hurt their employment or educational opportunities, according to proponents of the bill.
Opponents, predictably, claimed it would “send the wrong message,” of course not bothering to mention what sort of message it sends when you ruin people’s lives over a non-toxic plant.
Under the decrim bill, possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis would no longer be a misdemeanor, but instead would result in a $150 fine for first offense, anbd ranging from $200 to $500 for subsequent offenses.
Those under 21 years old would also face a 60-day suspension of their driver’s license.
It seems the politicians of Connecticut may be finally taking notice of the people.
In a Quinnipiac poll taken in March, Connecticut voters supported marijuana decriminalization by a 2-to-1 margin, with support trending upward.
Decrim was supported by 65 percent, with 32 percent opposed. That’s up seven points in just a year, comparted with the Quinnipiac poll from March 2010.
Decrim was supported by every demographic, with even 53 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of voters older than 64 supporting it. Support among Democrats was at 70 percent, as was support among voters 18 to 34 years old.