Vermont’s legislature on Monday approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, a measure the state’s governor expects to sign into law in the coming weeks.
The move sets up the New England state to be the 17th in the United States to remove criminal penalties for having small amounts of pot. It does not go as far as Colorado and Washington, which in November became the first states to legalize possession, cultivation and use of marijuana by adults for recreational use.
Vermont’s House of Representatives on Monday gave final approval to a proposal to remove criminal penalties for adult possession of up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana and instead penalize with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. Persons under age 21 caught with pot would be required to undergo substance abuse screening.
The House’s action upheld changes to the bill last week by Vermont’s Senate, including a provision that decriminalized possession of up to five grams of hashish, a potent pot derivative.<. . . . . READ MORE