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The History of Marijuana in Connecticut

Connecticut has a long history with marijuana that spans over two centuries, because the United States once grew industrial hemp. Some records even indicate that the crop was so valuable for rope, sails, and clothing, that it was actually illegal not to grow hemp. During World War II, the federal government even urged farmers to grow more hemp, but after the fighting ended, hemp production in the country and Connecticut plummeted. After the war, anti-drug campaigns pushed marijuana away, eventually banning the production of industrial hemp.

By 2014, Connecticut honored its cannabis history by legalizing industrial hemp to grow, use, and sell, “for the purpose of encouraging economic development and increasing the number of new businesses in the state.” Although this measure removed industrial hemp from the state’s list of cannabis substances, the plant remains illegal on the federal level. Marijuana is also federally illegal, but in 2011 Connecticut decriminalized the drug, making possession of half an ounce or less a civil violation. The following year, Connecticut also legalized medical marijuana for patients with medical conditions that are specifically identified and listed in the law. Connecticut seems to have some of the harshest medical marijuana laws, though small and slow progress is helping to expand the program in the state.


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