You might know about some high-profile changes to marijuana laws. Recently, a couple states have legalized marijuana for personal use while others have reduced drug crime punishments. These changes are a noteworthy trend, but almost all other states and the federal government still to prohibit possessing, growing, selling, and trafficking marijuana. Knowing the law where you live can be critical. Here’s a quick overview of the Green Mountain State’s current marijuana laws.
Marijuana Laws in Vermont
While Vermont has been considering marijuana legalization, it’s still a crime to possess more than a certain amount and to grow, sell, or traffic any amount. Vermont has different penalties for different types of marijuana crimes with varying punishments based on the amount of marijuana involved. Penalties start at court diversion programs for small-scale possession and top out at 30 year maximum sentences for trafficking more than 50 lbs.
The following table provides a summary of current Vermont marijuana laws:
*Update: Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill into law on Jan. 22, 2018 that legalizes the possession of up to 1 oz. of cannabis by Vermont residents age 21 and up, as well as the cultivation of up to 2 mature (or 4 immature) cannabis plants for personal consumption. The new law, which does not establish a retail marketplace, will take effect on July 1, 2018.
|Code Section||Vermont Statutes, Title 18, Section 4230, et seq.|
More than 1 oz.: First offense: court diversion program or up to 6 months and/or $500; Subsequent offense: up to 2 yrs. and/or $2,000;
Two oz. or more or more than 3 plants: 3 yrs. and/or $10,000;
One lb. or more or more than 10 plants: up to 5 yrs. and/or $100,000;
Ten lbs. or more or more than 25 plants: up to 15 yrs. and/or $500,000.
Under 0.5 oz.: 2 yrs. and/or $10,000;
Half an ounce-1 lb.: up to 5 yrs. and/or $100,000;
One lb. or more: up to 15 yrs. and/or $500,000;
Subsequent offenses: double penalties.
Fifty lbs. or more with intent to sell: up to 30 yrs. and/or $1 million.
Permissive inference that possessing 50 lbs. or more constitutes intent to sell or distribute.
Note: Marijuana laws are an area of the law that's constantly changing. In order to stay on top of things, it may be in your best interests to speak with a criminal law attorney who specializes in drug law or do some independent research of your own.
Related Resources for Marijuana Laws
You can find more general information on state marijuana laws and drug crimes on these pages. Since this is a fast-changing area of law, keeping track of changes in Vermont marijuana laws may be worthwhile. For more information specific to a particular case, consider speaking with a local criminal law attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.