Connecticut Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Addressing Marijuana Sentence Reductions and Discharges

A joint legislative committee in Connecticut has given approval to a bill allowing for marijuana sentence reductions, among other changes.

Senate Bill 444 was given approval today by the Joint Committee on Judiciary, moving it closer to a vote of the full Senate. The measure allows judges, after a hearing and for good cause shown, to reduce a sentence of someone convicted of a marijuana-related offense, or to order them discharged.

The measure also states that:

  • For defendants granted permission to participate in a diversionary program for a cannabis-related offense, the court must, within three months of granting such permission, order a hearing. If good cause is shown and the defendant would not be in the program but for the cannabis-related offense, the court must “vacate the decision concerning participation in the program and dismiss the charge or charges for which permission to participate in the program was granted”.
  • For defendants sentenced prior to the effective date of the amendment for only a cannabis-related offense that is no longer chargeable on or after July 1, 2021 (when the state legalized recreational marijuana), the sentencing court or judge must order the defendant discharged as soon as practicable after the effective date of the amendment.
  • For defendants sentenced to an executed period of incarceration of more than seven years as a result of a plea agreement, or for offenses that have been decriminalized subsequent to the date of conviction, it allows for the review and potential reduction of sentences.

The full text of Senate Bill 444 can be found by clicking here.

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