Dear Vermont NORML Supporters:
NORML is pleased to announce that on Friday, February 1, the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its second hearing regarding Senate Bill 238, which seeks to reclassify minor marijuana penalties from a misdemeanor to a civil violation. The hearing will take place at 9AM in Room 1 of the Vermont State House. Citizens like you are invited and encouraged to attend. (For directions to the Vermont State House, please direct your browser HERE
As introduced, Senate Bill 238 would replace existing criminal sanctions outlawing the possession, cultivation, and sale of minor quantities of cannabis with civil sanctions, punishable by a fine only.
Specifically, the bill would impose a civil penalty of no more than $250 upon first-time offenders found guilty of possessing up to two ounces of marijuana or growing up to two marijuana plants. Offenders found guilty of possessing between two and four ounces of marijuana and/or cultivating up to five marijuana plants would face civil fines as high as $1,000. Defendants found guilty of possessing or cultivating amounts above this threshold would face up to three years imprisonment under the proposed law.
Under current state law, the possession or cultivation of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail.