VT Lawmakers Vote To Decriminalize Marijuana

Governor's signature expected


Vermont's legislature on Monday voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, making the New England state the 17th to relax restrictions on the drug.

The House of Representatives followed an earlier vote in the state Senate in favor of the measure and Governor Peter Shumlin, a strong supporter, was expected to sign it into law.

The law would decriminalize possession of up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana and also small quantities of hashish, although a civil penalty similar to a traffic fine would still be imposed.

"Decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana will allow courts and law enforcement to focus limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive drugs that tear apart families and communities," Shumlin said on Instagram and Twitter.