"You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

User login

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 149 guests online.

Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

Find iBrattleboro on:

 Twitter YouTube

Search the Archives

Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

Use the pulldown to choose desired number of results.


Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Marijuana Legalized In Vermont, Sort Of

Vermont has just become the first state to eliminate penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana by adults. Governor Phil Scott signed H. 511 today.

If you are over 21, there will no longer be any penalty for having less than one ounce of marijuana. You may also have two mature and four immature marijuana plants. Buried a bit deeper, there is a provision for under 5 grams of hashish (instead of the one ounce of marijuana.) You may also now own paraphernalia for marijuana use.

According to the law, an immature marijuana plant means a female marijuana plant that has not flowered and that does not have any visible buds. A mature marijuana plant is defined as a female marijuana plant that has flowered and has visible buds.

The one ounce/5 gram limit does not include marijuana being cultivated and stores from your plants.

Violators over 21 will be first referred to a Court Diversion program, or possibly a $500 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Multiple offenses increase penalties. (If for example, you have more than 10 pounds of marijuana, or a pound of hashish, or growing more than 12 mature plants or 24 immature plants, jail time is up to 15 years and a fine up to $500,000 might apply.)

If you are under 21, marijuana will be treated like alchohol in terms of penalties.

While you can consume marijuana in your individual dwelling, it will not be allowed in public places such as streets, alleys, parks, sidewalks, nor anywhere that smoking tobacco is prohibited. There are fines for violators.

You may not, of course, operate a motor vehicle under the influence. You may not have an open container of marijuana in your car, but you can have some locked in your glove compartment or in your trunk. You may not consume secondhand marijuana smoke in a car, nor smoke in a car with children riding in it. Passengers may not have open containers, either.

Schools can impose administrative penalties for possession of marijuana on school property. Towns can impose additional penalties for marijuana consumption in a public place. Landlords can prohibit marijuana use by lease agreement. Inmates at correctional facilities may not possess or use marijuana.

Employers will not be require to make accommodations for marijuana use at work, can adopt a policy that prohibits/regulates use at work, and can fire people for breaking the rules.

You may not have or use marijuana at licensed day care facilities.

For those planning to grow marijuana, the limit on plants applies to each dwelling unit (a building or part of building used as primary home or residence or sleeping place), regardless of the number of people living there. Three residents does not triple the amount that can be grown.

You may grow marijuana for personal consumption on land you own, or land you have permission to use. It must be grown in an enclosure screened from the public and secured so those under 21 do not have access. To prevent your harvest from being counted toward your one ounce limit, is must be stored indoors on the property, safe from unauthorized access.

Obviously, there are penalties for providing marijuana to those under 21.

You are prohibited from making concentrated marijuana by chemical extraction or chemical synthesis using butane or hexane unless properly authorized as a dispensary.

The law sets up a Marijuana Regulatory Commission to come up with a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for marijuana markets. So, while you can grow it and have it, you still have no options for purchasing it, or seeds to get started, for a while.

Why is all of this being done? At the top of the list is an attempt to eliminate implicit bias. Recent studies have shown African-American and Hispanics in Vermont are more likely to be cited or arrested for marijuana possession. Reexamining drug laws is part of the effort.

Vermont has an estimated 80,000 residents who regularly consume marijuana, Maine and Massachusetts’ laws have changed, and Canada is expected to legalize marijuana. By adopting our own laws, Vermont hopes to reduce racial disparities, help prevent access to youths, better control the safety and quality of marijuana in Vermont, and to use revenues to support prevention, education, and law enforcement.

Vermont’s law takes effect Sunday, July 1, 2018.


So, what can Brattleboro do to take advantage of this?

We could designate a marijuana smoking area, with a good view. Much like any photo opportunity, it would attract tourists. If this were downtown, say, at the back of the River Garden, these tourists would come into town, park, enjoy some legal marijuana, then shop and eat. (Note: make it easy for those from NH to come over!). This could be temporary, too, to simply take advantage of the novelty while it lasts.

Brattleboro could grant special event permits for marijuana-friendly, 21+ events. Imagine a marijuana tent at the ski jump next to the beer garden. Imagine a marijuana festival similar to our beer and food fests. Imagine a benefit for the Jazz Center or WVEW where those preferring a joint to a glass of wine were welcome. Imagine the extra special event permit revenue!

An enterprising businessperson could probably create a smoking room somewhere. There could be a cover charge and/or food and drink to help cover the costs of a BYOM establishment.

Gardeners could teach classes in how to grow marijuana. Handypersons can offer to build enclosures.

Brattleboro has a few months before marijuana prohibition comes to an end. While waiting for inevitable taxation and sales rules, and with some creativity and planning, we can be in a position to take some advantage of the new law when it goes into effect.


Comments | 1

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

the problem is for people who receive federal "benefits"

the real problem is for people who receive federally subsidized food stamps and fuel assistance and medicaid, etc. who could be targeted most under federal laws and risk losing their benefits; or people who live in federally subsidized housing who are prohibited under federal law from receiving this housing benefit if they violate federal law and use marijuana.

It's not fair if marijuana is only legal for rich people.


iBrattleboro Poll

Which should Brattleboro have?