| Posted on Fri, May, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older will result in up to a $300 as of July 1, 2013
MONTPELIER, VT – A bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana passed a third, and final, reading in the Vermont Senate on Wednesday. The bill, which as previously passed in the House, will be sent to the House of Representatives to sign off on amendments made by the Senate before sending it to Gov. Peter Shumlin for his signature.
The bill, House Bill 200, introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) with a tripartisan group of 38 co-sponsors, will remove criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. Those under age 21 would 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.
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn both testified in favor of the bill in April, and Gov. Peter Shumlin has also expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana possession in the state.
On Tuesday, Senators voted 24 to 6 in favor of sending the bill to a third, and final, reading. Then on Wednesday, the Senate voted to approve the bill, as amended.
We are pleased to see the Senate has joined their colleagues in the House and given their initial approval to this important legislation,” said Matt Simon, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “There is exceptionally strong support for this proposal among the voters and the legislature has really stepped up and delivered.