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Vermont: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties

David Bowman

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Possession
Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older is punishable by a civil fine only -- no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record.

Possession of 1 to 2 oz. is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.*

* There is a possible deferred sentence for first-time offenders.

A subsequent conviction for possession of 1 - 2 oz. is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Possession of 2 oz.-1 lb. is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $3,000.

Possession of 1 lb.-10 lbs. is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Possession of more than 10 lbs. is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500,000.

See:
  • Vermont Criminal Code Title 18, Section 4230
Sale
The sale or delivery of less than 1/2 oz. is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The sale or delivery of 1/2 oz. - 1 lb. is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

The sale or delivery of 1 lb.- 50 lbs. is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500,000.

The sale or delivery of more than 50 lbs. is presumed to be trafficking and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.

The sale or delivery to a minor is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

See:
  • Vermont Criminal Code Title 18, Section 4230
Cultivation
Cultivation of 1-2 plants is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500 for the first offense. A subsequent offense increases incarceration to a maximum sentence of 2 years and a maximum fine of $2000.

Cultivation of 3-10 plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Cultivation of 11-25 plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Cultivation of more than 25 plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500,000.

See:
  • Vermont Criminal Code Title 18, Section 4230
Hash & Concentrates
The law decriminalizes possession of 5 grams or less of hashish by a person 21 years of age or older. Civil fines are no more than $200 first offense, no more than $300 second offense, no more than $500 third or subsequent offense. Possession of more than 5 grams of hashish is a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500 for a first offense. A subsequent offense increases incarceration to a maximum sentence of 2 years and a maximum fine of $2000.

Vermont classifies hashish and concentrates as marijuana. For more information regarding penalties associated with hashish or concentrates see the section for Vermont laws on marijuana.

See:
  • Vermont Stat. Ann. §4201(15)
Paraphernalia
The possession of marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older is punishable by a civil fine only -- no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. Civil fines are no more than $200 first offense, no more than $300 second offense, no more than $500 third or subsequent offense.

The sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

The sale of paraphernalia to a minor is punishable by a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.

See:
  • Vermont Criminal Code Title 18, Section 4476
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.

DECRIMINALIZATION

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

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. For more information see NORML's Industrial Use section.

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. For more information see NORML's Medical Marijuana section.

Source: NORML: Vermont Laws & Penalties
 
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