Lawmaker Pushes To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession
12/09/10 5:04PM By Neal Charnoff
(Host) A Burlington Democrat plans to introduce a bill in the Vermont House that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Representative Jason Lorber points to new research by the Legislative Council unveiled Thursday that shows the state spends over $700,000 a year to pursue Vermonters for possession of the drug.
(Lorber) "We should stop wasting $700,000 on a failed policy. It's time for a smarter approach, and that means decriminalization for an ounce or less of marijuana."
(Host) Lorber says decriminalization is not the same as legalization.
(Lorber) "This simply changes the penalty from a criminal offense to a civil offense, so instead of jail time, it would just be a ticket."
(Host) Marijuana has been decriminalized in 13 states, including New York, Maine and Massachusetts.
Lorber says recent polls show that Vermonters support decriminalization by more than a 2 to 1 margin.