Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On ‘Reducing The Criminalization’ Of Drugs By Setting Personal Use Amounts

Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On ‘Reducing The Criminalization’ Of Drugs By Setting Personal Use Amounts
MJ moment

Vermont’s governor has vetoed a bill that would have charged a state panel with standardizing personal use amounts of various illegal drugs. Reformers saw the measure as a first step toward decriminalizing drug possession in the state. The bill vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott (R) on Thursday, H.505, also would have removed the state’s sentencing distinction between crack and powder cocaine, a difference critics say disproportionately punishes people of color. In a veto statement, Scott wrote that the bill, which would not itself have changed criminal laws around drug possession, placed “no limits on which drugs can be contemplated for legalization or the amounts.” “I agree that the criminal justice system cannot, and should not, be the only tool in this work — and in Vermont, it is not,” the governor said. “However, we cannot completely abandon reasonable regulation and law enforcement as a tool.” Drug reform advocates, however, point out that the bill would not have legalized any drug-related conduct in Vermont and would have reduced penalties only around crack to put them in line with powder cocaine. “This bill is a step—a tiny, baby step—in the direction of reducing the harms of drugs,” said Dave Silberman, a pro bono drug reform advocate and the elected high bailiff for Addison County. “The governor’s veto statement makes the bill out to be a decriminalization bill, when in fact it did no such thing.” Scott also vetoed a separate bill that would have made expungements ever so slightly easier to get for people who've already served their sentences. — Dave Silberman (@DaveSilberman) May 20, 2022 (Disclosure: Silberman supports Marijuana Moment’s work through a monthly pledge on Patreon.) “I think there is a distinct pattern of conduct by the governor,” Silberman continued, “to say things like, ‘We need to treat substance use…

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Source : Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On ‘Reducing The Criminalization’ Of Drugs By Setting Personal Use Amounts

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