House Passes Marijuana Decriminalization; Malloy Is Expected To Sign It

By STEPHEN SINGER, Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved legislation decriminalizing marijuana, sending it to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who is expected to sign it into law.

After a nearly four-hour debate Tuesday, the House voted 90-57 to eliminate the misdemeanor offense from possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana. It would instead result in a $150 fine for a first offense and a fine ranging from $200 to $500 for subsequent offenses.

Those younger than 21 would face a 60-day driver’s license suspension, similar to the existing penalty for possessing alcohol.

Opponents say marijuana is a harmful drug and that the law should keep it beyond reach.

The Senate last week narrowly approved the legislation, which supporters say is a common sense reform to the judicial system.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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