The Vermont state legislature has introduced a bill which would decriminalize cannabis possession for adults age 21 and up. All penalties for cannabis possession would be eliminated, as long as the person didn’t have over two ounces of dried flower. Possession of an ounce or less is currently a civil infraction, making cannabis possession as serious as a parking ticket.
This isn’t the first time that the state has tried this. Vermont has put recreational cannabis on the ballot before, and the measure failed to pass. One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Rep Thomas Burditt (R-West Rutland) thinks that baby steps are the state’s best bet. He thinks that this time, the bill has a much better chance of passing.
In an interview with Vermont Public Radio (VPR) he sounded much more optimistic, “We have five new members on the committee this year, the numbers are totally different. Not that we’ve taken any votes, but I’m willing to bet that it will pass, and pass easily, in committee.”
The bill is not going for full-scale legalization. In other words, there won’t be a retail market set up to buy and sell cannabis. Legalization advocates don’t think that the state is ready for that yet. Considering that legalization failed just a few months ago, I suppose they’re right.
Decriminalization is the first step toward legalization. It’s a careful path to tread, so sometimes you have to take baby steps in order to avoid falling.
Image Source: International Business Times
What are your thoughts? Should Vermont stick to decriminalization? Should they attempt legalization again? Share with us in the comments!