Vermont lawmakers have introduced four drug reform bills this month, two of which would decriminalize simple possession of all drugs and expand harm reduction services, another would remove criminal penalties for using or selling psilocybin, and a fourth would decriminalize certain psychedelic plants and fungi.
However, even if these bills pass, they will face an obstacle in Gov. Phil Scott who last year vetoed a pair of bills containing more restrained drug policy reforms.
The group Decriminalize Vermont, which is in favor of H.423, said the measure “would take significant steps toward building a better system of care for Vermonters who may need services to address substance use disorder, and better protect our neighbors from accidental overdose.”
Another supporter, Dave Silberman, the high bailiff of Addison County, told Marijuana Moment that while the proposal faces “serious” obstacles to becoming law this session, support in the state for ending the criminal drug war nevertheless continues to grow.
“Vermonters should take heart in the fact that 47 Representatives and 11 Senators, including multiple committee chairs and other senior legislators in both chambers, have joined as co-sponsors,” Silberman said in an email. “While serious obstacles remain—including a governor who by his past actions appears to think that death by overdose is an acceptable way to reduce drug use—we are in fact closer than ever to ending the disastrous War on Drugs and ushering in an era where drug policy is sounded in compassion and evidence, and which aims to save lives instead of souls.”