War on Drugs

Vermont Decriminalizes Marijuana

No arrests for less than an ounce


Starting Monday, Vermonters will not be arrested for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.

The decriminalization law, signed by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) last month, will remove criminal penalties on small amounts of cannabis and replace them with civil fines.

According to the new measure, first-time offenders will not get more than a $200 fine for possession. The fine will increase for repeat offenders—$300 for a second offense and $500 for every offense thereafter—but, under the law, marijuana possession will no longer result in the creation of a criminal record.

Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana remains a criminal offense, and state law still forbids the cultivation of cannabis plants.