As of July 2013, Vermont became yet another state to decriminalize the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana by people who are 21 years or older. Possession of less than one ounce is considered a civil violation, with no arrest, no jail time and no criminal record.
Possession of one to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor which attracts up to six months in prison and a maximum $500 fine. A first-time offender may get a conditional release or a deferred sentence. A second conviction for the possession of one to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to two years in prison.
Offenders caught with two ounces to one pound are charged with a felony which incurs a $3,000 in fine and up to three years in prison. Possession of one to ten pounds attracts a five-year prison sentence and a maximum $100,000 fine. Offenders holding ten pounds or more are subject to a $500,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
Sale or distribution of marijuana that is less than 0.5 ounces is punished with a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to two years in prison. Offenders caught selling or distributing more than half an ounce, but less than one pound are subject to a $100,000 fine and a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Sale or distribution of more than one pound but less than 50 pounds of marijuana is punished by a maximum fine of $500,000 and up to 15 years in prison. Selling or distributing 50 pounds or more is considered to be trafficking and incurs a fine up to $1,000,000 and a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Sale or distribution of marijuana to a minor is punished with a maximum fine of $25,000 and up to five years’ incarceration.
First-time offenders caught growing one to two marijuana plants are charged with a misdemeanor and punished by a maximum fine of $500 and up to six months in prison. A subsequent offense increases the penalty to a maximum of two years in prison and a fine no greater than $2,000.
Cultivation of more than three but less than ten plants is a felony which incurs a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three years in prison. Growing more than 11 but less than 25 plants is met with a fine no greater than $100,000 and a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Offenders who cultivate 25 plants or more are subject to 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum $500,000 fine.
The state of Vermont classifies hash and concentrates as marijuana. Possession of fewer than 5g by anyone 21 years or older is considered a civil offense and warrants a maximum fine of $200 for a first-timer. A second offense incurs a fine of $300, and a third or subsequent offense is met with a fine of $500.
For first-time offenders, carrying 5g or more is punished by a maximum fine of $500 and no more than six months in prison. A subsequent crime increases the penalty to two years in prison and a fine no greater than $2,000.
Vermont removed all state-level criminal penalties on the possession and use of marijuana by patients with qualifying medical conditions. Patients must, therefore, get a written recommendation from a physician stating that he/she may benefit from marijuana for alleviating symptoms caused by chronic and debilitating medical conditions.
According to Vermont’s laws, registered patients and caregivers may possess no more than two ounces of usable marijuana and no more than two mature plants and seven immature plants.
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