The Burlington Free Press, the most widely circulated newspaper in Vermont, editorialized in favor of a bill that would remove the threat of jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The bill, known as H.200, would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana or two mature plants for people 21 and older. The penalties would be replaced by a civil citation and a fine.
From the Free Press:
“Given the challenges facing law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and the courts, the added burden of treating minor possession as a criminal offense no longer makes sense.
Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donvan argues the current law that treats minor possession as a criminal midemeanor can leave an impact on a person’s life out of balance with the severity of the crime.
Downgrading the weight of the crime would allow police to better focus on more urgent threats to our well being even within the world of illicit drugs.
With Vermont’s prosecutors and many of the state’s law enforcement officials on board, there’s no longer sufficient reason for lawmakers to stand in the way of decriminalization.”