Vermont: Governor Announces He Will Sign Marijuana Depenalization Measure

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 12, 2018

    thumbs_upRepublican Gov. Phil Scott publicly announced at a news conference that he intends to sign legislation into law legalizing the use and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults. The Governor vetoed similar legislation last year.

    House Bill 511 eliminates existing civil penalties specific to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and also removes criminal penalties with regard to the private cultivation of six marijuana plants (two mature and up to four immature). Those who cultivate marijuana for their own personal use may possess at home the total quantity of their harvest.

    The measure also imposes new civil penalties for consuming cannabis while driving, and imposes additional penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle impaired with a minor in the vehicle.

    “We’ll take a look at it to make sure it’s technically correct, and then I’ll sign the bill,” Scott said during a Statehouse press conference yesterday. “This is a libertarian approach. I’ve said I’m not philosophically opposed to it. I know there are diverse opinions … as to whether we should move forward, but I still firmly believe that what you do in your own home should be your business, as long as it doesn’t affect someone else.”

    Vermont will be the first state to legislatively act to eliminate both criminal and civil penalties for personal marijuana possession and growing.

    Once signed, the new law will take effect July 1, 2018.

    21 responses to “Vermont: Governor Announces He Will Sign Marijuana Depenalization Measure”

    1. Julian says:

      The first state to slam
      Project SAM
      Is Vermont
      The First veto scammed
      Said we’ll be damned
      Thats what we want
      And what we need
      Freed the weed
      We do concede
      It was daunt
      Go the Fuck away
      Kevin Sabet
      In any way
      In any font

      They were Slavedrivers
      Now instable
      Soul survivors;
      Turn the table
      As these subscribers
      Turn to fable
      Like McGuyvers
      Breaking labels
      The hand that feeds
      Once was bitten
      Our heart bleeds
      Though it was written
      Free our Weeds
      So we’ll be hittin
      Joints while seeds
      We plant and pitten
      And our leads
      In Congress sittin
      Sellin good deeds
      Like a kitten mitten

      Thank you Vermont!

      • Matt says:

        I would not be surprised if Gagnon and Sabet are both meeting with him on this, and he might receive a warning call from Jeff Sessions as well. Lepage is also going to be watching this, as is that prosecutor in MA and the other NE states….

        • Matt says:

          btw, Sessions can NOT be happy about this, especially if Vermont is joined soon by NH and others. He is becoming more and more outnumbered and confronted, regardless of his Federal Supremacy.

      • Julian says:

        Lol… kitten mittens…


        Were makin history folks.

      • WhatAbout says:

        This is great for Vermont! What about the federal level?

        Without changing federal laws this crap will come around again and again and again.

        Change the federal laws. Hound your I’m to busy getting re-elected to help elected officials to pass H.R. 1227 & H.R. 2020.


        • Julian says:

          What About Kitten Mittens?

          Jeeez… the first legislatively enacted state law to depenalize marijuana is how federal Congressman and federal judges determine federal law!

        • Fireweed says:

          Historically this is how Prohibition against alcohol got taken down in the 30’s. More and more states removed penalties until it reached a tipping point, just like what’s happening now.

    2. TheOracle says:

      I’m not in favor of this language “six marijuana plants (two mature and up to four immature” at all. If you keep one of the females as a mother plant, you can have only one other mature female? Does that mature mean flowering female or what? I think you should be allowed more plants to account for males and so you can produce your own community heirloom and community seed sharing, and the next village down the road’s seed bank.

      • Overgrowem says:

        Seems a plant not in flower would be immature, no matter what the size. That would be your mother. 2 in flower, 2 developing, 2 mothers, swapping clones for primo. I could make that work at my house.

    3. Matt says:

      Saw the article on this at WCAX. He is possibly waiting for a certain or strategic moment. Might not be signed for some time.

      • Matt says:

        or waiting for the ocmmission results to come back. Trying to show the “responsible governor” persona, character, whatever, perhaps.

      • Dan says:

        By law he must sign by 1/15/18 or it’s by default a veto.

        • Dan says:

          He has “5 days” from passage to sign, so maybe until 1/18/18 if that means business days.

          • Julian says:

            Or the Governor could technically not sign it but not veto it and the law would pass on Friday without his signature.

    4. Matt says:

      And when it says toward the end that Scott is worried about Tobacco 2.0, and edibles, Sabet is probably drooling at the mouth, just WAITING to pound the governor over this when tax and reg. comes up. Hope Scott sees common sense and permits retail sales despite this

      • mexweed says:

        Remind Sabet that Tobacco 2.0 has already existed over a century, it is the “Big Marijuana” 500-mg Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide Puffjoint, loaded with combustion toxins, luring millions of kids to try nicotine $iggerettes (6,000,000 deaths a year).
        (Many Americans didn’t even know until recently that the borrowed English slang word “Joint” is systematically misinterpreted by many Europeans and Commonwealth residents to mean a “joining together” of cannabis with $iggerette tobacco resulting in deadly addictions and health and character damage attributed by advertiser-bribed tabloid journalists to the cannabis.)

    5. Julian says:

      Vermont legalizing marijuana legislatively on Martin Luther King Day would be the pivitol moment in our movement. If Dr. King were alive today he would undoutedly embrace our cause, for it is a cause for the poor, the disproportionately incarcerated, the sick and the downtrodden. Marijuana is freedom; for our veterans turning PTS into PTSGrowth… and freedom for minds too closed and predatory for profit to cleanse their own soul… foolish pharisees… clean the inside of the cup and the outside will also be clean.

    6. Hopefully, other states do come to their senses and implement the same bill..

    7. mexweed says:

      Remind Scott that Sabet’s “Tobacco 2.0/Big Marijuana” already exists, it is the 500-mg Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide Puffjoint yielding combustion toxins that do health and character damage attributed by tabloid journalists to the cannabis.
      The Australian Department of Health issued a document Referring to the Joint (especially containing tobacco admixture) as a Trojan Horse luring children into deadly nogoodthing nicotine $iggerette adfiction.
      The $iggerette habit in turn makes $135-bil. a year (USA) profits for hospital and drug companies treating “$moking-related illness” (2014 Surgeon General Report).;

    8. Julian says:


      I didn’t realize until reading this article how hard the Vermont Sheriff’s Association came after this vote trying to delay it. And here I thought Project SAM was leading the way to kill Americans for opioid profit. But in this case, it would be the asset forfeitures that these bad cops want to team up with the Feds on for their cut of the legally stolen property. After all, Sessions has been doing what he can to keep our cops criminals.

      But a “fun fact” at the end of Monterey Bud’s article states the following:

      “Fun fact: When state’s seek legalization through the legislative process it provides certain safeguards from federal intervention when commercial cultivation and sales are prohibited.”

      So even if the federal government shuts down and Sessions takes that as a red flag to send the DEA smashing in doors, they won’t be able to do that in Vermont, because they have legislatively enacted law. As weak as the state laws are here in Texas, I never looked at it that way… well… probably because the qualifications are so ridiculous and expensive we can’t even get patients registered before the herb is dried out.

      More importantly, unlike the voter initiated legalization states have accomplished up to this point, legislative marijuana reform can be used as evidence in Federal Courts. Federal Judges will rule in favor of existing legislatively enacted law. And one such open case in Washington v. Sessions, could determine the entire scheduling of marijuana unconstitutional just because of what Vermont is signing into law… a legislative defense for our 1st, 5th, 9th, 10th and 14th amendment rights.

      If we ever look back in history at the moment our movement to deschedule marijuana pivoted into success… if there ever was a “tipping point…” this is it… this week… when this bill passes.