Vermont House passes automatic expungement bill!

Sep 11, 2020

automatic expungement, bill to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, cannabis legalization, compromise, conference committee, decriminalization, Gov. Phil Scott, House Judiciary Committee, Laura Subin, past cannabis possession offenses, S. 234, S. 54, taxes, VCRM, Vermont, Vermont House of Representatives, Vermont Senate, VT

Legislators are also nearing final agreement on the bill to legalize and regulate sales — ask your legislators to support S. 54, then call Gov. Phil Scott and ask that he sign both bills into law!

The Vermont House of Representatives took a huge step forward today when it voted to approve S. 234, a bill that will automatically expunge all criminal records for past cannabis possession offenses. The bill also decriminalizes possession of cannabis in amounts that modestly exceed the legal limit, which will minimize the possibility that a person could risk criminal penalties for a small mistake.

Separately but concurrently, legislators have come very close to reaching final agreement on the details of S. 54, the bill to legalize and regulate cannabis sales. Please write your representatives and senators and urge them to support final passage of both bills! Then, call Gov. Phil Scott and encourage him to sign them when they reach his desk.

The Senate has already approved S. 234. Since the bill was amended by the House, it will return to the Senate for a final vote before it proceeds to the governor’s desk. You can read a summary of the bill here. VCRM director Laura Subin recently testified in support of this bill in the House Judiciary Committee (via Zoom) and did an excellent job explaining the importance of automatically expunging records!

The conference committee on S. 54 has reached a compromise on all issues except whether or not to include a local option tax in addition to state taxes. The legislators are expected to finalize the details of their agreement at their next meeting. A revised summary of the bill’s key provisions is available here.

Again, please contact your state legislators and urge them to support passage of both of these bills, then call Gov. Scott’s office and encourage him to sign them. After you do so, please share this message with your family and friends!