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Published On: Sun, Jun 30th, 2013

Vermont’s marijuana decriminalization law commences July 1

Nearly one month after Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law, H.200, “An Act Relating To Civil Penalties For Possession Of Marijuana”, The Green Mountain State will become the 17th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Image/U.S. Geological Survey

Image/U.S. Geological Survey

On Monday, July 1, the law exchanges criminal penalties for civil penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana or five grams or less of hashish by a person 21 years of age or older.  A person suspected of being in violation will be ticketed in the same manner as is currently done with traffic violations.

Larger amounts of the substance, more than one ounce of marijuana, but fewer than two ounces of marijuana, or more than five grams of hashish, or cultivation of any marijuana, will continue to be a criminal offence.

The bill, H.200, introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson, passed the House of Representatives in April, then soon after in the state Senate.

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the bill into law June 6.

“This change just makes common sense. 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,” Gov. Shumlin said.

“This is a much-needed step forward toward a more sensible marijuana policy,” said Matt Simon, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the legislation. “Nobody should be subjected to life-altering criminal penalties simply for possessing a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol.”

“There is still work to be done and support is growing for more comprehensive marijuana policy reform,” Simon said. “Until marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol, sales will remain uncontrolled and profits will benefit illegal actors instead of legitimate, taxpaying businesses.

“Marijuana prohibition is a failed policy, and it is time for Vermont to explore the possibility of adopting a new approach,” Simon said.

The bill was also supported by leading law enforcement officials in Vermont, including Attorney General William Sorrell and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today.

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  1. […] More marijuana will be smoked in Vermont this 4th of July holiday! […]

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  3. josh smith says:

    Josh Smith Collapse

    This is so cool that MMJ legalization is starting to really grow nationwide!! But what is cool is that you can invest in publicly traded companies that deal with the MMJ business model’s regulations. The true profit potential has not even been realized yet–so it could easily be in the billions annually. A company to look into is medical greens–:(SKTO). They just started up the company in March 2013 but their business plan is to be consultants to collectives in California to ensure that collectives are following the regulations. it is brilliant and they already made 5 million in profits in their first quarter which was only three weeks! the chairman of the board is Kevin Allyn who is a veteran of the entertainment industry–he will be interviewed by CNN veteran Larry King in the near future to talk more about the MMJ movement and plans for medical greens. This company has also been endorsed by Gavin Newsome the Lt. Gov of California

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