(CannabisCulture) Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed into law Thursday a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts o marijuana. That makes Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize, including all of its neighboring New England states except New Hampshire.
Introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) and passed with tripartisan support, House Bill 200 removes criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. People under 21 will be required to undergo substance abuse screening. Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.
“This change just makes common sense,” Shumlin said as he signed the bill. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.”
The White House has announced the appointment of Buddha, a bulldog, to as the new Chief of Staff for First Dog Bo. The Obama family pet has been without a Chief of Staff since the start of the second term, so this political appointment is long overdue.
Buddha, who graduated suma cum puppy from Harvard, will help Bo set his second term agenda. Though the position of First Dog has no official powers, he is historically very influential in dictating national canine policy.
Among the issues the two are expected to tackle are closing puppy mills, harsher punishments for dog fight promoters, and an educational campaign aimed at dogs about the danger of chasing cars.