By Over 2-1 Margin, VT House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization

AP PhotoThe Vermont House has given final approval to a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

The bill passed Tuesday on a vote of 92-49 after being given preliminary approval on Friday. Instead of a criminal penalty, those caught with up to an ounce of pot would face a civil fine like a traffic ticket of up to $300. It also seeks to reduce the chances that anyone caught with up to 2 ounces would have a permanent criminal record, and defines a new crime of driving while smoking marijuana.

Possession on school property by someone 21 or older would still be a crime.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Sears says he thinks the bill will get similar support in the Senate.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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