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How Much Is Too Much? In Vermont's Pot Legalization Debate, A Question Of Amount

Marijuana plants.
The House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill to legalize marijuana, and there has been discussion as to what amount of marijuana people should be able to legally possess without penalty.

As Vermont's House Judiciary Committee considers a bill to legalize marijuana, there has been discussion about exactly how much marijuana an individual could possess.

The current bill is quite different from a plan that passed the Senate last year, but was defeated in the House.

While that Senate plan created a state regulatory structure where marijuana would be sold in retail stores and all products would be taxed, this latest House approach simply allows individuals to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana. People could also grow several plants.

VTDigger reporter Elizabeth Hewitt has been covering this issue closely. Hewitt recently joined Vermont Edition to discuss the legislation and its outlook, including debate around that amount of marijuana a person could legally possess.

According to Hewitt, many thought that 2 ounces – which could be used for around 60 joints – was too much.

As a result, Hewitt explains that the committee is considering "reducing it down to 1 ounce for no penalty ... There would be a civil penalty for between 1 and 2 ounces, and then above that – up to a pound – would be a misdemeanor offense."

"They are lesser offenses than under current law," Hewitt continues. "Again, this is a proposal at this point. They haven't finalized the bill, but it does look like they're leaning towards this lesser amount."

Listen to the full interview from Vermont Edition above.

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