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Marijuana Decriminalization Law Having 'Modest' Effect on Court System

The greatest impact the law has had is on the probation system, Office of Policy and Management's Michael P. Lawlor told the Manchester Journal Inquirer.

Judge Robert Devlin, Connecticut's chief administrative judge for criminal matters, recently told the Manchester Journal Inquirer that the change to state law that decreased the penalty for getting caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana to a ticketing offense has had a "modest" effect on the court system's time and resources.

According to the Judicial Department, there was a 76.5 percent decrease in the number of charges of possession of between 4 ounces and a half-ounce between July 1, 2011 and Nov. 30, 2011 when compared to the same period in 2010, but the figures don't show the effect it has had on court activity since most of the people charged also face additional charges.

Michael P. Lawlor, the undersecretary of the Office of Policy and Management for criminal justice policy, told the Inquirer that the has had the greatest effect on the state's probation system since most people that were charged were put on probation after entering a diversionary program.

that he didn't "see a tremendous increase in the utilization of our manpower." The department issued 19 marijuana-related infractions between July 1 and Nov. 1, 2011.

"It's still time-consuming," he said.

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