Marijuana decriminalization in Vermont

To the Editor:

Vermont house bill H. 427 "An Act Relating To Penalties For Possession Of Marijuana" would reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil offense, like a traffic ticket.

A recent poll showed 63 percent of Vermonters support decriminalization. This bill has the support of Gov. Shumlin and Commissioner of Public Safety Keith Flynn. The Vermont senate has supported similar legislation. According to the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Office, Vermont spent about $716,000 on 801 misdemeanor marijuana charges in 2008. Thirteen other states have decriminalized, including our neighbors Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Maine.

Unfortunately, according to a recent article in the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, this bill is stalled due to the unilateral obstructionism of House Speaker Shap Smith. I urge all concerned to please contact Speaker Smith and politely ask him to allow the bill to proceed. And please write your representative as well. Nobody deserves to have a criminal record over a little pot.

Sincerely,

Jeff Laughlin

Barre, Vt.

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.