Douglas says he’s open to discussing decriminalization

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says he’s ready to talk to lawmakers about reducing penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The idea of decriminalizing minor pot cases was floated by Senate President Peter Shumlin.

The Windham Democrat says judges already direct most first-time offenders to court diversion programs. So, he favors changing the law to decriminalize possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana.

Douglas says he’s open to discussing the issue.

(Douglas) “It’s certainly reasonable to talk about the appropriate penalties for various criminal statutes. But the most important thing for me is to continue our aggressive effort to combat dangerous drugs, to ensure that those who traffic in drugs, those who seek to poison our children, are dealt with harshly and severely.”

(Host) The governor said he hasn’t decided where to set threshold for decriminalizing marijuana possession.

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