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Vermont Lawmakers Approve Legislation to Automatically Expunge Records, as S.54 Progresses

Heady Vermont Staff
Heady Vermont Staff 11 Sep 2020

From our friends at Marijuana Policy Project.

MONTPELIER — Today, the Vermont House of Representatives passed S. 234, a bill that would require the automatic expungement of all criminal records for past low level cannabis possession offenses. The bill would also decriminalize possession of cannabis in amounts that are up to twice the legal limit for adults and reduce some cannabis penalties. After an additional vote in the House, S. 234 will return to the Senate for concurrence before it heads to the governor’s desk. You can read a full summary of the bill here.

House and Senate negotiators also appear to be nearing a final agreement on S. 54 — legislation that would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales. S. 54 previously passed the House (90-54) and the Senate (23-5) in different forms. The bill will require a final vote from the House and Senate before it proceeds to the governor’s desk. You can find the bill’s key provisions below, from the Marijuana Policy Project’s latest update.

Statement from Laura Subin, director of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana: 
“Automatic, cost-free expungement of minor cannabis convictions is the right policy and now is the right time for it. This bill recognizes and takes a step towards repairing the horrific legacy of racism in the enforcement of cannabis prohibition laws. It is also fair, commonsense legislation that will help break cycles of poverty and criminality.”

Statement from Matt Simon, New England political director at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“Vermont legislators should be applauded for recognizing the importance of this reform. Along with the bill to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, S. 234 will help ensure that Vermonters are no longer harmed or held back by the senseless prohibition of cannabis.”

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