Midweek Marijuana Law Review: Show Me the Money

After marijuana is “legalized” in Vermont you can still face hefty fines for mishandling it. But where will that money go?

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer. This piece is purely for informational purposes regarding Act 86, a Vermont bill that pertains only to Vermont and has no bearing on federal law.

Many marijuana limitations outlined in Vermont’s new marijuana law carry with them either criminal penalties, civil fines, or both. In many cases these fines can reach into the thousands of dollars. But just exactly where will this money go?

According to Act 86, forfeited money will be split into two separate funds, both substance related.

Sec. 4. V.S.A.  § 4230a is amended to read:

4230a. MARIJUANA POSSESSION BY A PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER

(d) Fifty percent of the civil penalties imposed by the Judicial Bureau for violations of this section shall be deposited in the Drug Task Force Special Fund, hereby created to be managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, and available to the Department of Public Safety for the funding of law enforcement officers on the Drug Task Force, except for a $12.50 administrative charge for each violation, which shall be deposited in the Court Technology Special Fund, in accordance with 13 V.S.A. § 7252….

P. 8 – 9. Emphasis mine.

The Drug Task Force is a program comprised of local, state, and federal investigators whose mission is to investigate individuals suspected of trafficking illegal drugs. They are multi-jurisdictional and provide specialized resources across the state while enforcing state and federal drug laws.  

This last bit is interesting to note due to the fact that Act 86 is a Vermont statute and has no bearing on federal law which still classifies marijuana as an illegal schedule I substance.

Sec. 4. V.S.A.  § 4230a is amended to read:

4230a. MARIJUANA POSSESSION BY A PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER

(d)… The remaining 50 percent shall be deposited in the Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program Special Fund, hereby created to be managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5, and available to the Court Diversion Program for funding of the Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program as required by section 4230b of this title.

P. 9

YSASP is a Court Diversion Program, and the same that first-time youth offenders caught with marijuana can be referred to. Those who complete the program can avoid further consequences like having their operator’s license suspended.

Participants meet with counselors, participate in educational programs, and perform community service in an effort to stave of substance-use disorder; a disease that disproportionately develops in teens and young adults.  

But, the best way to prevent youth substance use and avoid fines is to educate yourself about Act 86, its specifics, and responsibly and respectfully use marijuana (should you choose to) when this law comes into effect on June 1, 2018.

Written by The Chad

Real name is T.J. Anania. Hi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s