Marijuana bill advances to House

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It’s on to the Vermont House now for a bill that would relax penalties on Vermonters caught with small amounts of marijuana.

The state Senate gave final approval to it yesterday after defeating an amendment that would have given prosecutors the decision-making power over whether minor cases should be sent to court diversion.

The bill calls for defendants to have the choice of court diversion or paying a fine when they’re caught with up to an ounce of marijuana.

Opponents say the bill sends the wrong message to young people, but supporters said it would match up state law with the existing practice of prosecutors.

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