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74 Year Old Vermont Man First to Get Fined, not Arrested, for Marijuana

September 4th

SAINT JOHNSBURY, VT– Vermont police fined a 74-year-old man $200 for marijuana he grew from seed at his apartment, in the state’s first civil penalty under a new law that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of cannabis. William Reynolds, of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, was ticketed last week after police followed up on a complaint about […]

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Vermont Accepting Applications for Final Medical Marijuana Dispensary License

August 7th

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Department of Public Safety, who oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, said Tuesday that the agency is now accepting applications for the fourth, and final, certificate to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the state. Under Vermont’s 2004 medical marijuana law, patients or their caregivers can grow up to three […]

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Marijuana Possession Now Decriminalized in Vermont

July 1st

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermonters possessing small amounts of marijuana are no longer be subject to arrest due to a bill adopted earlier this year taking effect early Monday morning, making Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

House Bill 200, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) with a tripartisan group of 38 cosponsors, passed the House in April before sailing though the Senate less than a month later.  Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed the bill into law in early June.

It ends criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish and replaces them with fines of $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.

Possession of more than an ounce remains a criminal offense, as does the cultivation of any number of plants.

“This is a much-needed step forward toward a more sensible marijuana policy,” said Mat. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday

June 29th

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermonters will possessing small amounts of marijuana will no longer be subject to arrest starting Monday, when a bill adopted this year to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession will go into effect.  Vermont will become the 17th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

House Bill 200, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) with a tripartisan group of 38 cosponsors, passed the House in April before sailing though the Senate less than a month later.  Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed the bill into law in early June.

It ends criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish and replaces them with fines of $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.

Possession of more than an ounce remains a criminal offense, as does cultivation of any number of plants.

“This is a much-needed step forward tow. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont’s First Two Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Now Open

June 25th

BURLINGTON, VT — Two years after the Vermont legislature approved the expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program to allow four dispensaries statewide, the first two have opened in Burlington and Montpelier.  A third is expected to open soon in Brandon.

The two dispensaries, Champlain Valley Dispensary in Burlington, which opened Monday, and Vermont Patients Alliance, which opened last week in Montpelier, were both awarded licences by the by the state Department of Public Safety nine months ago.

Because of “unexpected hurdles” in the strictly regulated program, the dispensaries are just now opening.

The Vermont Legislature passed Senate Bill 17 in May 2011, paving the way for the dispensaries to open in the state. Strict guidelines regulating the medical marijuana dispensaries were written by the Vermont Department of Public Safety, who also oversee the Vermont State Police, and were carefully written to help prevent federal interference in the state’s medical marijuana program.

The rules mandate background FBI checks for dispensary operators, significant video security and one-at-a-time appointment-only service at the d. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont Gov. Signs Bill Marijuana Decriminalization Bill into Law

June 9th

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law Thursday a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. That makes Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize, including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire.

Introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) and passed with tripartisan support, House Bill 200 removes criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 will be required to undergo substance abuse screening.

Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.

“This change just makes common sense,” Shumlin said as he signed the bill. “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.”

Earlier this week, Shumlin signed a package of bills aimed at reducing problems associated with opiate use, including measures designed to reduce opiate overdose deaths.

“We applaud Gov. Shumlin, the state’s top law enforcement officials, and the legislature for their leadership and support of this importan. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont Gov. Signs Bill Marijuana Decriminalization Bill into Law

June 8th

MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law Thursday a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. That makes Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize, including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire.

Introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) and passed with tripartisan support, House Bill 200 removes criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 will be required to undergo substance abuse screening.

Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.

“This change just makes common sense,” Shumlin said as he signed the bill. “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.”

Earlier this week, Shumlin signed a package of bills aimed at reducing problems associated with opiate use, including measures designed to reduce opiate overdose deaths.

“We applaud Gov. Shumlin, the state’s top law enforcement officials, and the legislature for their leadership and support of this importan. . . . . READ MORE

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Rural Vermont and Vote Hemp to Host Hemp Victory Celebration

May 27th

BRATTLEBORO, VT — With the recent passage of a common sense industrial hemp regulation bill, Rural Vermont, in conjunction with the national hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp, will be hosting a Hemp Victory Celebration in Brattleboro.

A 1942 film produced by the US Government called for farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.

A 1942 film produced by the US Government called for farmers to grow hemp for the war effort.

The event, which will be held on Wednesday, June 5 at the Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery in Brattleboro, will include two special viewings of the short 1942 USDA propaganda film “Hemp for Victory.”

In addition to the film presentations, the victory celebration will feature Vermont legislative updates by Rural Vermont Organizer Robb Kidd and national legislative updates by Vermont resident and Vote Hemp Co-Founder Eric Lineback.

Guest appearances by Vermont farmers and policy leaders, as well as free samples of hemp product samples, are also planned for the evening.

The Hemp Victory Celebration is part of the National Hemp History Week campaign, and this year will highlight and celebrate the positive work that Vermonters have done to contribute to this wid. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont Hemp Bill Passes Legislature, Heads to Governor

May 15th

industrial hemp

MONTPELIER, VT — Perhaps overshadowed by the passage of a bill decriminalizing marijuana possession in the state, another bill that would modify Vermont’s law permitting the growth of hemp by farmers was passed by both chambers of the Vermont legislature Monday just prior to the legislature adjourning for the year.

Once signed by the governor, Senate Bill 157  will modify the requirements for hemp production in the state of Vermont, which was authorized in 2008 but has not yet been implemented due to a federal ban on the cultivation of the crop.

The bill will remove language from the 2008 law which states that Vermont farmers can grow hemp “when federal regulations permit.”  Instead, the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture can begin issuing licenses to grow hemp to farmers, but will be required to inform them that the cultivation of hemp may be in violation the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Farmers would assume the risk of federal prosecution for growing hemp in violation of federal l. . . . . READ MORE

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Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Heads to Governor

May 14th

hand holding marijuana leaf

MONTPELIER, VT – A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana has made it through the Vermont legislature, winning final approval Monday. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has said he supports it. If he indeed signs it, Vermont will become the 17th state to either decriminalize or legalize marijuana.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is expected to sign the measure in coming weeks.

Senate Bill 48, sponsored by Sen. Joe Benning, and House Bill 200, sponsored by Rep. Chris Pearson, would impose a civil fine on possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Under H. 200, a person under 21 who is found in possession of up to an ounce of marijuana would have to undergo substance abuse screening and possible treatment. That language was carried over in the final votes.

Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail fo. . . . . READ MORE

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