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BILL AS PASSED BY SENATE 2007-2008

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S.238

AN ACT RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. § 4230 is amended to read:

§ 4230.  MARIJUANA

(a)  Possession and cultivation.

(1)(A)  A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both in an amount consisting of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances of an aggregate weight of one ounce or less shall be fined not more than $500.00 for a first offense and $750.00 for a second offense, and shall be imprisoned not more than six months and fined not more than $750.00, or both, for a third or subsequent offense.  Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, a person charged under this subdivision (1)(A) for a first or second offense shall have the option of participating in a diversion program subject to approval of the diversion board.   If a person has completed diversion pursuant to this subdivision on two prior occasions the person may participate in diversion a third or subsequent time only upon referral by the state’s attorney.

(B)  A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this subdivision knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in an amount consisting of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances of an aggregate weight of more than one ounce but less than two ounces shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.  Upon an adjudication of guilt for a first offense under this subdivision, the court may defer sentencing as provided in section 7041 of Title 13 except that the court may in its discretion defer sentence without the filing of a presentence investigation report and except that sentence may be imposed at any time within two years from and after the date of entry of deferment.  The court may prior to sentencing, order that the defendant submit to a drug assessment screening which may be considered at sentencing in the same manner as a presentence report.

(2)  A person knowingly and unlawfully possessing marijuana in an amount consisting of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances, of an aggregate weight of two ounces or more containing any marijuana or knowingly and unlawfully cultivating more than three plants of marijuana shall be imprisoned not more than three years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.


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Sec. 2.  SENTENCING COMMISSION

The Vermont sentencing commission shall review current sentencing practices for drug possession pursuant to sections 4230–4235a of Title 18 and determine whether current sentencing is consistent with best practices.  The commission shall report to the senate and house committees on judiciary on its findings and any recommended changes to the drug possession statutes no later than December 1, 2008.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us