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
The Vermont House is set to debate
legislation that would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to an
ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil violation like a traffic
ticket and a $300 fine.
The Vermont Senate has
overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to move the state’s primary elections to
early August. The early date was supported
by Secretary of State Jim Condos, who said he needed more time between the
primary and the general election to meet federal deadlines to get ballots to overseas
Gov. Peter Shumlin made headlines in January when he proposed a
five-year lifetime cap on welfare benefits. But lawmakers only recently
found out that he also wants to eliminate 12 positions dedicated to
helping welfare recipients find the jobs they need to get off the
The Vermont House passed a version of
a shoreline protection bill last month. But the compromise disappointed both environmentalists –
who want to see tougher restrictions – and property rights advocates, who
oppose new state regulation.
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.