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Vt. Senate panel passes pot decriminalization bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. Senate panel passes pot decriminalization bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont Senate committee has approved a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

The bill, which was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, will now go before the full Senate.

The House passed the legislation last month.

Instead of a criminal penalty, those caught with up to an ounce of pot would face a civil fine like a traffic ticket of up to $300. It also seeks to reduce the chances that anyone caught with up to 2 ounces would have a permanent criminal record, and defines a new crime of driving while smoking marijuana.

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