Vermont Medical Marijuana Law Overview
SUMMARY: Senate Bill 76 became law without Gov. James Douglas' signature on May 26, 2004. The law takes effect on July 1, 2004. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: HIV or AIDS, cancer, and Multiple Sclerosis. Patients (or their primary caregiver) may legally possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than three marijuana plants, of which no more than one may be mature (amount is updated, see below). The law establishes a mandatory, confidential state-run registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.
Accepts other states' registry ID cards? No. The medical use provisions in Vermont do not include reciprocity provisions protecting visitors from other medical use states.
Senate Bill 7, which took effecton JULY 1, 2007, expands the definition of "debilitating medical condition" to include: "(A) cancer, multiple sclerosis, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or the treatment of these conditions, if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms; or (B) a disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces severe, persistent, and one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; or seizures."
POSSESSION/CULTIVATIONS: The measure also raises the quantity of medical cannabis patients may legally possess under state law from one mature and/or two immature plants to two mature and/or seven immature plants. Senate Bill 7 also amends state law so that licensed physicians in neighboring states can legally recommend cannabis to Vermont patients.
• 2 oz usable; 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature)
MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: Therapeutic Use of Cannabis, Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, Â§Â§ 4471- 4474d (2003).
CAREGIVERS: Yes. Registered caregiver is a person who has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the well-being of a registered patient with respect to the use of marijuana for symptom relief. The registered caregiver can never have been convicted of a drug-related crime. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. Patients may only have one registered caregiver at a time. Registered caregiver may serve only one registered patient at a time. Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 18, Â§4472(6); 4474(1),(2)(c) (2003).
Patient Registry Fee: $50
• Registration: Mandatory
For more detailed information and Becoming a Patient in Vermont
Department of Public Safety
03 South Main Street
Waterbury, Vermont 05671
Vermont Marijuana Penalties
♦ Less than 2 oz (first offense)* - misdemeanor Incarceration 6 months Fine $500
♦ Less than 2 oz (second offense) - misdemeanor Incarceration 2 years Fine $2,000
♦ 2 oz to 1 lb - felony Incarceration 3 years Fine $10,000
♦ 1 to 10 lbs - felony Incarceration 5 years B]Fine[/B] $100,000
♦ 10 lbs or more - felony Incarceration 15 years Fine $500,000
*Possible deferred sentencing for first offenders.
♦ 3 to 10 plants - felony Incarceration 3 years Fine $10,000
♦ 11 to 25 plants - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $100,000
♦ More than 25 plants - felony Incarceration 15 years Fine $500,000
♦ Less than 1/2 oz - misdemeanor Incarceration 2 years Fine $10,000
♦ 1/2 oz to 1 lb - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $100,000
♦ 1 lb or more - felony Incarceration 15 years $500,000
♦ Delivery to a minor at least 3 years younger by seller over age 18 - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $25,000
♦ To a minor or on school grounds or on a school bus felony additional 10 years
Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)
♦ Paraphernalia sale - misdemeanor Incarceration 1 year Fine $1,000
Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500 for the first offense. For a second offense the penalty increases to a possible two years in prison and a fine up to $2,000. There is a possibility of deferred sentencing for first offenders. For possession of two ounces or more, the penalty is up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Possession of one pound or more is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. Possession of ten pounds or more carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.
Cultivation of greater than three plants is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
For greater than 10 plants, the penalties increase to a possible five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Cultivation of greater than 25 plants carries a penalty up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.
Sale or delivery of less than one-half ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. For amounts of one-half ounce or more, the penalties increase to a possible five years in prison
and a fine up to $100,000. Sale or delivery of one pound or more carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and a fine up to $500,000.
Anyone over 18 who delivers marijuana to a minor who is at least three years his junior faces an additional penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. Any sale of marijuana to a minor or any sale on
school grounds or on a school bus carries an additional sentence of up to ten years in prison.
Sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Conditional release The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.
Medical marijuana: This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.
Hemp: This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products.
Warning: The information contained in this report is for informational purposes only. Individuals are encouraged to confirm their state's laws before engaging in any particular behavior, or before going to court without a lawyer. Marijuana laws and penalties change rapidly and are enforced and interpreted differently even in the same legal jurisdiction. Please consult a criminal defense lawyer if you have been busted or if you want to know how a particular conduct might be punished. If you spot an error or have information that should be included please let us know.
Source: Active State Medical Marijuana Programs - NORML and 16 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC - Medical Marijuana - ProCon.org
Be informed and be well.
See Vermont: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties for more up to date information regarding state laws and penalties.
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