decriminalizing – or even legalizing – the possession of small amounts of
marijuana have cleared a major hurdle. The Vermont House voted 98-to-44 on Friday
to make it a civil offense – instead of a crime – to possess one ounce or less
set to vote on a bill this week that would decriminalize
the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The
House Judiciary Committee has been taking testimony for weeks and the bill is
likely to pass Tuesday afternoon.
key House committee took testimony on Thursday about whether possessing small
amounts of marijuana should be a civil offense, not a crime. In
Montpelier, decriminalization was once
considered one of the key issues of the legislative session, but it has recently
taken a back seat.
On election night, Burlington voters registered their support for legalizing marijuana in the city in a non-binding referendum. But leaders at the Statehouse say a more likely course of action is to decriminalize the drug.
marijuana offenders often are given a break in New Hampshire.
The House recently
passed a bill to decriminalize a small amount of the drug. The bill isn’t
expected to survive the Senate, but if it did, Gov. John Lynch said he’ll veto
Debate resumes today in the Vermont Senate on a bill that would lessen penalties for possession of marijuana. VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb speaks with Keith
Stroup, founder and legal counsel for NORML, the National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.