VERMONT: As of Monday, Vermont will be the 17th state to decriminalize marijuana possession. A bill passed earlier this year goes into effect then.
The measure, House Bill 200, was sponsored by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington), with a tripartisan group of 38 cosponsors. It ends criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish and replaces them with fines of $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses. Possession of more than an ounce remains a criminal offense, as does cultivation of any number of plants.
People under 21 caught with decriminalized amounts of marijuana or hash will have to undergo substance abuse screening.