If you have been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, you may have many questions. What are the charges, and what do they mean? What are possible penalties? Click here for the immediate post-arrest steps that should be taken. Below is information that will help you better understand what you have been accused of and what the Connecticut laws and penalties are relating to such charges.

Possession of Marijuana

Possession defined by Connecticut state law
Possession is defined in one of two ways – either actual or constructive. Actual possession means physically possessing the drug, such as having it on your person. Constructive possession means having the object in a place under your command or control. For possession to be proven, you must have been aware that you were in possession of the marijuana.

Note: Possession of two different drugs at the same time is still considered one offense.


Jail time varies based on the amount of marijuana in possession and whether it was a first time offense.

Adult First Time Offenders

  • Up to five years jail time
  • Fines from $150 to $2000
  • Charges range from non-criminal infraction (1/2 ounce or less) to misdemeanor (1/2 to 4 ounces) to felony (4 ounces or more)
  • Minimum mandatory sentence of two years for possession within 1,500 feet of a school

Adult Repeat Offenders

  • Up to 10 years jail time.
  • Fines from $200 to $5,000
  • Charges range from non-criminal infraction (1/2 ounce or less) to felony (1/2 ounce or more)
  • Minimum mandatory sentence of two years for possession within 1,500 feet of a school

Sale, Possession with Intent to Sell, or Cultivation of Marijuana

Defined by Connecticut state law

Sale: any form of delivery, which includes barter, exchange or gift, or offer, and each such transaction made by any person whether as principal, proprietor, agent, servant or employee.
Possession with the Intent to Sell: Possession, either actual or constructive (as defined above), with the intent to sell means the person charged had not yet sold the marijuana (see above description for sell) but planned to do so. The state must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person charged had the specific intent to sell the marijuana.
Cultivation: Cultivation is a form of possession and is subject to the same penalties as sale or intent to sell.


Any sale or cultivation of marijuana by an adult is charged and penalized as follows:

  • Felony
  • Seven-year possible sentence
  • Up to $25,000 fine

Sale of marijuana to a minor or sale within $1,500 feet of a school, public housing or daycare results in a mandatory minimum three-year sentence in addition to other penalties.

Were you charged with the possession, sale, intent to sell or cultivation of marijuana?

If you are a potential client, please contact the knowledgeable attorneys of Fairfield Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation to learn more about your rights. Marijuana-related charges require an aggressive defense, and you can count on one of our experienced attorneys to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Terms of Marijuana Charges

There are many actions involving drugs that are punishable by law. At least one of these is probably included in your charges:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributes
  • Sells
  • Prescribes*
  • Dispenses*
  • Compounds
  • Transports with the intent to sell or dispense
  • Possesses with the intent to sell or dispense
  • Offers
  • Gives
  • Administers to another person*

*These three terms – administer, prescribe and dispense – are only used in cases involving practitioners including doctors, pharmacists, scientific investigators, etc.

If you are a practitioner who has been charged with a crime involving the administration, prescription or dispensing of drugs, you need an attorney who is aware of the nuances of these charges. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.