OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www. cga. ct. gov/ofa

sHB-6715

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PALLIATIVE USE OF MARIJUANA.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 08 $

FY 09 $

Consumer Protection, Dept.

GF - Cost

194,000

192,000

Comptroller Misc. Accounts (Fringe Benefits)

GF - Cost

112,000

115,000

Consumer Protection, Dept.

GF - Revenue Gain

Minimal

Minimal

Judicial Dept.

GF - Revenue Gain

Potential Minimal

Potential Minimal

Judicial Dept. (Probation); Correction, Dept.

GF - Cost

Potential

Potential

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

This bill would result in a cost to the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to hire 2 additional Drug Control Agents and a Secretary. Detail appears in the table below:

Item:

FY 08 ($)

FY 09 ($)

2 Drug Control Agents

291,528

300,274

1 Secretary

40,342

41,552

Fringe Benefits

199,786

205,779

One-Time Equipment Costs

8,205

0

Total

539,861

547,606

The two Drug Control Agents would be required since DCP's Division of Drug Control would be training other state agencies, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, municipal police departments, and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in addition to performing review in the field and enforcement. A clerical position would be required since this bill, if enacted, would require a new registration process for physicians and patients and a potentially significant amount of correspondence is anticipated.

The bill makes it a crime to lie to a law enforcement official about acquiring, possessing, cultivating, using, distributing, or transporting marijuana for palliative use in order to avoid arrest. The bill also makes it a crime to lie to a law enforcement officer about the issuance, contents, or validity of a (1) written certificate for the palliative use of marijuana or (2) document purporting to be a written certification.

To the extent that these new crimes increase the likelihood that offenders would be prosecuted or receive harsher penalties, a potential revenue gain from criminal fines and potential cost for incarceration and/or probation supervision in the community exist. It is anticipated that relatively few fines would be imposed on an annual basis, and, consequently, any revenue gain under the bill is expected to be minimal. On average, it costs the state approximately $2,500 annually to supervise an offender on probation in the community as compared to $41,600 to incarcerate an offender.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation. Any revenue gain to DCP would be subject to the number of physicians and patients that register with the agency, which is unknown at this time.

The potential revenue from criminal fines indicated above would remain constant into the out years since fine amounts are set by statute. The annualized cost associated with probation supervision and incarceration would continue into the future subject to inflation.