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Vermont - Local Group Pushes For Cannabis Amnesty

The General

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After the passage of a law to decriminalize marijuana in 2013, the group BTV Green is now grappling with how to deal with prior convictions. The group is pushing city councilors to provide unconditional amnesty for all Vermonters convicted of prior cannabis convictions. Members from the group presented the referendum to the Burlington City Council at a meeting on September 8.

Now the city council is exploring the possibility of putting the referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would nullify marijuana convictions in Burlington. The state of Vermont has decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana last year and referendum supporters think this is the next logical step. "It's an obscenity that people who were busted a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago would still be burdened with the consequences of those cannabis offenses," said Albert Petrarca, a member of BTV Green.

The group argues the state's move to decriminalize weed shouldn't stop at future offenders. "It's just hypocrisy and an injustice that people in states all over the country are now allowed to legally use cannabis and yet there are still tens of millions of people who are still suffering with the consequences of seventy-five years of prohibition," Petrarca said.

Council member Rachel Siegel says this is a chance to hear from residents and get a better idea of how the public feels about the issue. "Since it's not binding and it's just a referendum question saying that we'd like to grant them amnesty, then the state can take that and do whatever it is their legal jurisdiction to do and make a change," Siegel said. City council members say they will get more information about the issue Thursday. They will also find out if the referendum will, in fact, be on the agenda for Monday's meeting. If it is, they will have the weekend to read up on the topic, and make their decision.


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Wptz.com
Author: Rachel Karcz
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Local group pushes for cannabis amnesty | Vermont - WPTZ Home
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