Montpelier Marijuana Decriminalization Measure (March 2010)

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There was a Montpelier Marijuana Decriminalization Measure on the March 2 ballot in Washington County for voters in the city of Montpelier.

This measure was approved

  • YES 1,530 Approveda
  • NO 585[1]

This measure sought to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. Supporters on this measure had petitioned to get this issue on the ballot, they were able to collect around 500 signatures of support for this issue, it only needed 310 to be valid. Supporters also see it as a message to higher state officials, if there is wide spread support for this on a local level, they are hoping a state wide measure will be forthcoming in the future. But this measure was shadowed by a recent car crash in Burlington which killed two people and was ruled against the driver who was intoxicated with marijuana. Although supporters claim police concluded too quickly that marijuana was to blame for the crash, they were hoping resident will not just focus on the one incident but will see the bigger picture of saving state money by having fewer criminals due to marijuana possession.[2]

Due to the passage of this measure, local supporters are trying to show state legislatures that there is widespread support for the decriminalization of marijuana possession. Supporters are hoping that law makers see that their money could be used elsewhere, no reason to put people in jail for marijuana possession when a fine could be easier. Under current Vermont law, marijuana possession is not a criminal offense if it is used for medical purposes.[3]