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Vermont Marijuana Law Signed By Governor Decriminalizes Small Amounts [Video]

Vermont marijuana

A Vermont marijuana reform law was signed by Governor Peter Shumlin (D) on Thursday. The new bill decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. As a result, Vermont is the 17th state to take action to decriminalize the herbal drug — including all of its surrounding states except New Hampshire.

House Bill 200 removes the criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. However, there are still civil penalties — similar to minor summary offenses like traffic tickets.

In addition, people under age 21 caught with any amount of marijuana, even an ounce or less, will be required to undergo substance abuse screening — just as they would if they were caught with alcohol.

In a perhaps more controversial move, the law will also decriminalize possession of less than 5 grams of hashish, which is a stronger drug made from the same plant.

In any case, be aware that the new Vermont marijuana law is not the same as outright legalization. Both Washington state and Colorado passed well-publicized laws last year allowing adults to use recreational marijuana.

An analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project Matt Simon said that he applauded the Vermont governor’s move: “Decriminalizing marijuana possession will allow law enforcement officials to spend more time and attention addressing serious crimes and prevent people from being branded as criminals just for using a substance that most Americans agree should be legal.”

Gov. Shumlin himself commented that the new law made 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.”

The use of medical marijuana under a doctor’s supervision was signed into Vermont law in 2004.

The new Vermont marijuana law goes into effect July 1.

[marijuana field photo by stdesign via Shutterstock]

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15 Responses to “Vermont Marijuana Law Signed By Governor Decriminalizes Small Amounts [Video]”

  1. Edwin Estrada

    Good for them. These Southern States with their Religion, Self Righteousness are 75 years behind the rest of America and we all know of their "Ugly History" of Racism, Oppression. They don't believe in helping people with Cancer, Aids, Multiple Sclorosis and other ailments that can Help people in their pain and suffering. The pharmaceutical and alcohol companies have all those Backwards Southern States, Republicans in their pockets.

  2. Bob Hicks

    This "Law" is nothing more than a Revenue Generator… a Marijuana Speed-Trap, instead of them spending money to incarcerate, they MAKE money by way of the fines/penalties..Welcome to the Drug Business Vermont!
    Decriminalize, and stay out of Weed Business!

  3. Anonymous

    Congrats on the opinionated generalization…..I'm sure that has no effect on the negatives you have mentioned….your conclusion that drugs solve these things is immature at best

  4. Mike Laborde

    More ways to scramble your brain and keep you addicted and lazy. Spray pain , gasoline, etc. How many more ways to destroy your ability to think normally. Wonder how many more accidents and work place accidents this will cause.

  5. Alexia Taylor

    It makes me sick that our taxes are being wasted fighting growers and keeping people in jail for this stuff. With all the talk of a financial crisis why would we waste so much money fighting something that has never been proven harmful.

  6. Alexia Taylor

    By your logic alcohol should be illegal long before pot. You should also do some research on marijuana and reaction time because there have been numerous studies that show it does not hinder reaction time and increases, cognitive questioning with in most cases makes people more careful.

  7. Cleanse Mart

    In the year 2010 it was reported that the number of weed dispensaries established in Denver has outnumbered the number of the city's Starbucks. With so many dispensaries opening in the legal states in US, it is quite difficult to choose the best one. Medical marijuana is known for its benefits and it is believed that this substance helps patients suffering from a number of debilitating medical conditions such as HIV, glaucoma, cancer, etc. So, if you are a patient and have already obtained a medical marijuana registry card, it is important that you know where to find the best weed dispensaries. Read on to find out what are the handy tips that you use to locate the best dispensaries in your area.

    One of the first steps is to identify all the dispensaries which are established in your area. The best way to do this is by searching on Google or to look for the dispensaries using the Google maps. After you have located all the dispensaries, you can research each one. You can also search for the best weed dispensaries in your area and you will get a number of results from which you can choose. Always make sure that you read reviews about the different dispensaries and find out what others have experienced.

    Once you have found a few, let's say 3 good dispensaries in your area, you can give them a call to find out more about them. Some dispensaries do require you to make an appointment before you visit them, while some do not require making prior appointments. Once you are ready to pay a visit, there are certain things that you must pay close attention to.

    Firstly, check out the waiting room and the time taken for them to take you to the bud room. Do you have to wait for long hours or does it take just a couple of minutes? Evaluate your experience and also the pricing plans. Find out which dispensary offers the best price for the best plants. The price of the plants is a major factor that needs to be considered at the time of choosing a primary care giver.

  8. Buce McLaughlin

    Mike Laborde…
    It may interest you to know, that there are people who smoke weed and they work HARDER than those who don't.
    Pot doesn't make a person, fat, lazy, stupid or less productive. There are those walking in our society today, that are ALL OF THE ABOVE and don't touch the stuff.
    Are YOU one of those brainwashed people?

  9. Daniel Dean McGuire

    Cannabis sure destroyed Carl Sagan's ability to "think normally"… You, Sir, are a victim of "Reefer Madness" propaganda left over from the '30's. Believe it or not, Cannabis oil is being shown to shrink cancerous tumours when eaten, vaporized and used as a suppository. You do have google don't you?

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