Special Report

The Next 14 States to Legalize Marijuana


Vermont farm house
Source: Thinkstock

14. Vermont
> Possession decriminalized: Yes
> Amount decriminalized: 1 oz or less
> Max. fine for 1 oz or less: $200
> Pct. adults using in past year: 20.1%

In its latest session, the Vermont legislature came close to ending marijuana prohibition in the state. The Vermont Senate passed bill S. 241 to the House, where it did not receive adequate support. If the bill had passed, Vermont would have been the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use through a comprehensive legislative bill, rather than through a ballot initiative. The failure to reach a resolution may have come as a disappointment to Vermont residents, as 55% of them support legalization. More than one in five adults in the state report having used marijuana in the past year, the second highest such proportion in the country.

The legislature did, however, pass a bill that makes obtaining medical marijuana easier. For example, it expanded the eligibility requirements for medical marijuana so that patients with glaucoma and chronic pain can qualify for the program.