VT Gov. Peter Shumlin Signs Law Decriminalizing Marijuana
Previously, possession of a small amount of marijuana was a misdemeanor punishable by up six months in jail and a $500 fine for a first offense. Subsequent offenses could theoretically result in up to two years in jail.
Under the new law, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and over will result in only a civil fine. The maximum fine will be $200 for a first offense, with slightly higher fines for repeated offenses. People under the age of 21 caught with marijuana will also be required to undergo substance abuse screening.
Vermont is now the 17th state to adopt a law that decriminalizes or legalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. The law will go into effect starting July 1st.
Photo by Hekerui under Creative Commons license.