The Burlington City Council will debate Monday whether to put the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana to a citywide vote. Councillors Ed Adrian,and Tim Ashe, are co-sponsoring a resolution that would put the question directly to city voters March 4. Adrian said Monday he has been working on the issue for some time, "getting support on the council." He said Gov. Jim Douglas's comment last week that he is willing to have a "conversation" about decriminalizing marijuana persuaded additional councilors to support the Burlington initiative.
Adrian also credited Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand for raising the issue.
In November, Douglas and Sand sparred over the issue. After Sand allowed a Windsor County woman found with 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana to enter a court diversion program rather than face criminal prosecution, Douglas ordered state law enforcement agencies to bypass Sand and refer large drug cases to top Vermont or federal prosecutors. In December, Douglas lifted that order.