Vt. House Backs Away From Marijuana Legalization

The Vermont House is backing away from a push to legalize marijuana.

The House instead is set to debate a bill that would study the issue and lighten the penalty for first-offense possession of up to an ounce.

That currently carries a $200 fine under Vermont's system of decriminalization. The bill up for debate Tuesday would halve that to $100.

The measure also calls for stepped-up training for police officers to recognize drivers under the influence of drugs. It calls for a commission to study legalization with an eye toward bringing the issue back to lawmakers later.

The Senate had passed a bill making possession of up to an ounce legal for those 21 and over. But that effort is expected to fall by the wayside.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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