Vermont Passes Major Decriminalization of Pot Laws
Marijuana has largely been decriminalized with the latest bill the Vermont state legislature passed. The new reform measure signed into law this past week by the governor removes any criminal penalty associated with possession of up to one ounce of the drug.
This means that anyone found in possession of one ounce of marijuana or less will incur a minimum fine of $200 which will increase for repeat citations. However, a person will not incur a criminal record for possession of marijuana.
“This change just makes common sense,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement after signing the legislation on Thursday. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.”
This new law comes as the result of neighboring New England states and others across the country which have decriminalized marijuana. Also, the decision by the Obama administration to not enforce federal drug laws on marijuana use has allowed the individual states to pursue their own agendas regarding Cannabis. In signing the new law into effect, Vermont Democrat Governor Peter Shumlin explained that the state’s limited law enforcement resources would now be able to focus on the types of drugs that are adversely affecting families and communities in the state which are namely the opiate drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and related prescription drugs.
The new law will now take effect starting July 1 of this year.
New England Lawmakers Preparing State Marijuana Legalization Push
Marijuana decriminalization bill signed into law in Vermont