Vermont lawmakers have unveiled legislation to end criminal penalties around small amounts of illegal drugs in the state.
Under a bill introduced on Wednesday, possession and dispensation of personal-use amounts of drugs would instead be subject to a fine of up to $50 or a referral to a substance use screening and health service.
The bill, H.422, is sponsored by Reps. Selene Colburn (P) and Logan Nicoll (D), along with 12 additional lawmakers.
Backers frame the proposal as a move toward a public health approach to drug use disorders and overdose deaths.
“Vermont has been a leader in some ways with our approach to substance use disorder treatment and substance misuse prevention, but we continue to lose too many Vermonters to substances every year,” Nicoll told Marijuana Moment in an email. “And we continue to treat drug abusers as criminals when they should just be patients.”
A separate bill to remove criminal penalties…