​Vermont Passes Marijuana Legalization Law​​

By: | 06/09/2021 08:25 PM ET

Vermont became the latest state to decriminalize marijuana possession in 2013 after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed H. 200, which eliminated the state’s criminal penalties and replaces them with fines.

It’s a major victory for MPP and its legislative allies in Montpelier, who have worked hard to build support for this sensible reform.

Leading law enforcement officials supported the bill, including Attorney General William Sorrell and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn. H. 200 passed the House April 16 in a 92-49 vote and was approved 24-6 by the Senate May 7. The House gave its final approval to the Senate’s amendments May 13.

As a result of this reform, Vermont police and prosecutors will waste less time and taxpayer money on enforcing laws against marijuana possession. Individuals caught possessing an ounce or less of marijuana in the Green Mountain State will be fined but will not receive a criminal conviction. Those under 21 will generally be sent to diversion.

The next step for Vermont policymakers will be to consider legal alternatives to the illicit market for marijuana. The attorney general has publicly argued in favor of decriminalizing plants, and many legislators have openly made the case for legalization, and regulation. MPP says it will continue working with legislators to explore policy options that will work best for Vermont when the prohibition of marijuana is repealed.