Shumlin signs pot decriminalization law - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin signs pot decriminalization law

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -

Vermont is now the 17th state to get rid of criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed the decriminalization measure into law Thursday. Now instead of criminal penalties, people caught with pot will face civil fines similar to a traffic ticket.

"Let's treat de-criminalization of marijuana not as a drug that we endorse, not as something that our kids should be using, but when Vermonters do abuse marijuana, let's make sure that it's a traffic ticket kind of fine and it doesn't effect the rest of their lives," Gov. Shumlin said.

Possession of pot by minors will be treated the same as underage possession of alcohol, including referral to court diversion for a first offense.

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