Vermont Governor Pardons Nearly 200 people Charged with Cannabis Possession
In his final week in office, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has pardoned 192 people who were convicted of cannabis possession.
This brings the total number of pardons issued by Shumlin to 208, the most ever issued by a Vermont governor.
“A minor marijuana possession charge should not be an anchor that holds back an individual from getting a good job or going about their life,” Governor Shumlin said in a press release following the pardons. “While attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing; there is still a harmful stigma associated with it. My hope was to help as many individuals as I could overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it.”
Shumlin continues; “Vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana; put to an end the incredible failure that is the War on Drugs.”
According to the governor’s announcement; “About 450 individuals applied for a pardon by the Governor. After processing all of those applications, conducting background checks, and reviewing criminal histories, the Governor decided to pardon 192 individuals. The Governor did not pardon those with violent criminal histories or those also convicted of driving under the influence or reckless driving.”
A full list of the 192 people who received pardon can be found by clicking here.
In Vermont the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis isn’t punishable by jailtime. This is thanks to legislation signed by Governor Shumlin in 2013.
Unfortunately the incoming Governor-elect Phil Scott doesn’t support legalizing cannabis as Schumlin does.
“Vermont should look to the other states who have legalized to learn what we can around the public safety and social impacts of the policy and then have the conversation with more information,” says Rebecca Kelley, a spokesperson for the governor-elect. “For the upcoming legislative session, the Governor-elect is focused on tackling the more immediate economic issues facing Vermont and Vermonters.”