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4. Decriminalization in Vermont
It's somewhat mystifying that the home state of Bernie Sanders, Pat Leahy, and the politically successful Vermont Progressive Party can't seem to decriminalize pot.
Even more mystifying? The most recent attempt to drastically reduce penalties for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana was trounced by a Democrat—Vermont state Speaker of the House Shap Smith. According to a February 2012 report, Smith and other conservative Democrats blocked a decriminalization bill that was popular with voters, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Commissioner of Public Safety Keith Flynn, because the bill wasn't popular with the "state’s law enforcement community."
The tide has turned since early 2012. The race for attorney general saw both the incumbent and his primary challenger agree that marijuana should be decriminalized. Shortly after the election, Gov. Shumlin announced he expected to sign a decriminalization bill in the 2013, and the bill's authors told constituents they planned to reintroduce it in the new legislative session. To top it off, Smith, who still opposes decrim, says he won't block the bill again if it's reintroduced.