Is it Legal to Smoke Weed at a Concert in Connecticut?
Cannabis products are legal to buy and consume in Connecticut but this is pretty new.
With the new laws come new questions, like can you smoke weed at a concert in Connecticut? I wish the answer was simple but it doesn't appear to be. This is what CT.Gov says:
"Contact your city or town for more information. In general, you won't be able to smoke or vape cannabis anywhere you can't smoke or vape tobacco. Cities and towns may enact ordinances to regulate whether and where cannabis can be consumed in public. At home, landlords may prohibit smoking and vaping, but they generally may not prohibit possession or consumption of other forms of cannabis. Cannabis use will be prohibited in state parks and on state beaches and waters."
Based off of that language I looked at individual venue's policies, specifically smoking rules as a starting point but it's not as clear cut as we'd like it to be. It doesn't mean if they allow smoking tobacco then they allow cannabis use because these are private properties. CT also gave individual municipalities a lot of cannabis decision making power so things can get complicated. Basically, if they have a smoking section, maybe, if they don't it's a hard "no." Here are some of CT's most popular venues say:
The Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport says this about smoking:
"While we are an open-air facility, there is no smoking permitted in the venue. We appreciate your cooperation."
What about the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford? On smoking they write:
"This is a non-smoking facility. A smoking area is located outside of the lobby for attendees."
Toad's Place in New Haven has the same policy on smoking, they say:
"Toad’s Place is a smoke-free establishment. We have a designated smoking area out front. Please ask a staff member and they will direct you to it."
Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville says:
"Mohegan Sun Arena is a SMOKE-FREE venue. Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the Arena, including restrooms. Guests who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to ejection from the Arena."
The Webster Theater in Hartford's website says:
"There is a designated smoking area just outside the lobby doors. Please see our staff or security for assistance."
For a little more clarity, I looked into Law Offices in Connecticut to see if any of them have information about this on their websites. The Law Offices of Mark Sherman did but it was all specific to minors being caught in possession of marijuana. They say:
"Concert venue operators would probably prefer to turn a blind eye to underage drinking, but the risks of injury, lawsuits, and intoxication and other crimes associated with excessive underage drinking and marijuana use have left Xfinity Meadows operators and Hartford police with no choice but to aggressively prosecute teenagers ticketed for Minor in Possession under 30-89 and Possession of Marijuana under CGS 21a-279a."
And Visit CT writes:
"Cannabis usage is prohibited in state parks, on beaches, and on the water. Individual towns may create their own policies, but in general, you can’t smoke marijuana in any place where you can’t smoke tobacco. Property owners, lodgings, landlords, and rental companies may ban the use and possession of marijuana on their premises."
VERDICT: No, but that has never seemed to stop anyone at any concert I've ever been to
UPDATE: This one is for our neighbors in New York State, according to Metro 24/7:
(Albany, NY) -- New York State is okaying marijuana sales at festivals, fairs, and concerts. New York's pot farmers complained about all the marijuana they've harvested that's just sitting around unsold because the state's been so slow to roll out its legal marijuana dispensaries. Only 20 are open statewide, so the Cannabis Control Board is giving farmers the go-ahead to sell stockpiled weed at concerts, fairs, and festivals in locations that have no legal pot shops. They can also partner with a processor who'll be allowed to sell marijuana edibles and vape cartridges.
P.S. I remember when cannabis products were legalized in the state, we spoke to a ton of CT politicians on the I-95 Morning Show. We would ask them these questions like "where can you smoke?" In the beginning we were told they (municipalities) would need to provide designated areas for consumption in public places. What happened to that?
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