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For decades, the topic of marijuana legalization has been something of a heated topic right across the United States, with different states holding differing opinions and stances on each side of the debate, with some states being more progressive than others.
In recent years, Vermont has made some significant changes to its drug laws, and if you haven’t been keeping up to date, it’s easy to get confused as to whether or not weed has been legalized in the state.
Since the passing of the legislation back in 2018, Vermont became the first state in the country to legalize marijuana through the legislative process, as opposed to a voter referendum.
Despite the passing of this legislation, there are still some restrictions and rules that you need to be aware of before you begin to partake in any marijuana-based activities.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the current legal status of weed in Vermont, as well as the laws, penalties, and regulations that surround its use, possession, and distribution.
History Of Marijuana Laws In Vermont
While it might surprise some people, Vermont has a record of being one of the more progressive states in the country when it comes to laws regarding marijuana.
In 2004, medical marijuana was legalized, becoming one of the first states to do so.
In 2013, the state decided to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of weed, which was seen as an incredibly progressive move at the time and placed Vermont at the forefront of pushing for complete legalization.
Legalization came in 2018 when the state became the first in the country to legalize marijuana through the legislative process, as opposed to putting it down to a voter referendum.
Since then, there have been a small number of dispensaries opened up in the state, allowing anyone over the age of 21 with a Photo ID to buy marijuana.
The Legalization Of Marijuana In Vermont
The legalization of weed in Vermont in 2018 was a massive step forward for those involved in the conversation surrounding both medical and recreational weed usage in the United States.
At the time, however, the recreational sale of marijuana wasn’t possible, and you were only allowed to purchase it medically or to grow it yourself.
Since then, weed has now been permitted for recreational use, with 25 recreational dispensaries opening up in the state in the first 3 months of it being allowed.
However, despite this progression in the way in which marijuana can be used in Vermont, it is worth noting that public usage remains illegal, so you’ll have to stick to smoking in private for the foreseeable future.
Rules And Regulations Surrounding Weed In Vermont
As previously mentioned, while Vermont’s legalization was seen as wholly progressive, there are still many rules and regulations in place surrounding the distribution, possession, and usage of weed in Vermont.
One of the most significant rules in place includes the banning of driving under the influence of weed.
Much like alcohol, it is completely illegal to drive while impaired through the use of marijuana. This can lead to a fine of $750, 2 years in prison, or both.
The fine will also increase for the second, third, and fourth offense, as will the sentence, which can rise to 10 years in prison on the fourth time.
Just as we said before, weed can not be used publicly in Vermont, and must be used out of the view of the public, and on private property, with a fine of $100 for anyone failing to comply with this law.
Users should also be aware that Individuals are also not allowed to possess marijuana on school grounds or school buses, and employers are still allowed to enforce drug-free workplace policies, even in light of the new laws introduced.
Additionally, while adults are allowed to grow marijuana at home, there are restrictions on how much they can grow and where they can do it.
Marijuana plants must be grown in a secure location that is not visible from a public place, and individuals are only allowed to grow up to two mature plants and four immature plants per household.
The Future Of Weed In Vermont
The legalization of marijuana in Vermont and the increasingly more open-minded attitude to the drug in the state is the beginning of a wider decriminalization and legalization of drugs throughout the state, and the country as a whole.
Remember, while Vermont and some other states have all legalized the use of marijuana, it remains illegal at a federal level, which is something that many advocates will change in the years to come, especially with states like Vermont paving the way for a refresh in the way we see drug usage.
One of the biggest benefits of Vermont’s legalization of weed has been economic, and it’s predicted that the sales of weed in the state could reach up to $230 million by the end of 2023, and could potentially reach as high as $255 million in 2025.
This is important, as it demonstrates just how economically beneficial weed can be to the states that are still yet to legalize it and could help many states change their stances on the drug altogether.
Ultimately, it seems like the future of weed in Vermont is safe, and hopefully, the way that the state has been able to progress regarding its legalization makes for an excellent example to other states.
We hope that this guide to weed and its legal status in Vermont has been helpful to you.
Just remember, that if you’re going to be visiting Vermont that you need to be 21+ with a valid Photo ID to purchase weed, and you’re not allowed to smoke in public places or drive after smoking either. Otherwise, enjoy!
Learn more about the legal status of weed in the Northeast and in neighboring states:
- Is weed legal in Massachusetts?
- Is weed legal in New Hampshire?
- Is weed legal in New York?
I’m an avid gardener and cannabis enthusiast. You can usually find me in my garden caring for my plants or at my computer crafting helpful blogs for my readers.