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Ecstasy penalties in Connecticut

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is a party drug that is popular among young people and college students who attend parties and clubs. The drug causes euphoria and is hallucinogenic. People who take ecstasy in crowded clubs or at raves run the risk of significant increases in body temperature and dehydration which can cause death in some situations.

Once ingested, ecstasy's effects will last for approximately four to six hours. Users report feelings of peacefulness and empathy towards others. Because of its potential dangers, however, Connecticut law takes ecstasy possession, manufacture and sales very seriously. The law provides for substantial penalties if convicted.

First-time offenders who are convicted for selling the drug face up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. If convicted of a second sales offense, offenders face up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $150,000 or both. Third and subsequent sales offenses can lead to 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Courts have an alternative sentencing scheme available, which calls for a sentence of up to three years of indeterminate sentencing with conditional release. The release can be revoked and the person sentenced to prison if the conditions are violated. People caught selling ecstasy within 1,500 feet of a school face a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of three years.

Simple possession convictions also can lead to imprisonment. First-time possession can lead to imprisonment up to five years and a $2,000 fine, while subsequent convictions can lead to ten years in prison and a $5,000 fine. People who are charged with an ecstasy offense may benefit from seeking representation from a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in drug charge cases. A conviction can lead to lifelong collateral consequences in addition to the potential criminal penalties.

Source: OLR Research Report, "Ecstasy", Saul Spigel, November 04, 2014

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