The Vermont House passed H. 200, a marijuana decriminalization bill today, accepting changes made by the Vermont Senate and sending the bill to the governor’s office to be signed into law. If signed, it will go into effect July 1, 2013.
Governor Peter Shumlin said “I applaud the Legislature’s action to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Vermonters support sensible drug policies. This legislation allows our courts and law enforcement to focus their limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs that are tearing apart families and communities.”
Locally, Representatives Burke and Toleno signed on to introduce the House bill that, as passed, removes crimnal penalties and substitutes civil penalties for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana. The fine will be “not more than $300.”
…a person who possesses
marijuana in an amount less than the amount in subdivision 4230(a)(1)
(criminal possession of marijuana) or who possesses paraphernalia for
marijuana use shall not be penalized or sanctioned in any manner by the State
or any of its political subdivisions or denied any right or privilege under state
There remain criminal penalties for growing the plant or possessing more than one ounce. You won’t be allowed to smoke and drive, or use it if you are under 21, either.
The Governor seems likely to sign it into law.