|BILL AS PASSED BY SENATE||2007-2008|
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
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.
* * *
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.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street