After Connecticut decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2011, arrests from police dipped.
In 2011, about 5,000 citations were issued. In the next year arrests fell to just over 3,000. That number grew to 3,500 in 2013— the most recent year for which data is available.
Teenagers and minorities were cited at a higher rate, according to a Trend CT analysis of Connecticut marijuana arrests data submitted by police departments to the National Incident-Based Reporting System and pulled from a public records request at Muckrock.com.
Note: Some towns like Hartford and New Britain are not listed in the NIBRS data, so we will revisit this analysis in the near future using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data.
If someone is caught in Connecticut with less than a half ounce of marijuana, police will confiscate the drug and issue a $150 fine. Tickets for subsequent offenses range from $200 to $500 and the violator pays the fine through the mail like a speeding ticket.
Before the bill, the possession of any amount of marijuana in Connecticut could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a criminal record on the first offense.
|Connecticut State Police||1,480|
|UConn Police Department||125|
|Willimantic Police Department||111|
|Groton City Police Department||42|
|E.C.S.U. Police Department||14|
|S.C.S.U. Police Department||13|
|C.C.S.U. Police Department||10|
|UConn Health Center||2|
|Capitol Police Department||1|
About 14 percent of those cited were women and 86 percent men.
The median age for those cited was 22.
Teenagers were most-often cited by police for marijuana use. In particular, 19-year-olds were ticketed the most – 1,060 between 2011 and 2014.
Most police departments reflected the state trend of decreasing marijuana citations over time.
Some of the exceptions included police departments in Ansonia, East Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford.
In all but one town (Suffield), black people were cited for marijuana at a higher rate than their proportion of the population in that town.
Nearly half of all marijuana citations in New Canaan were given to black people though they make up about 1 percent of the town’s population.
Only in six out of 65 towns were white people given marijuana citations at a higher rate than their proportion of the town’s population.