Vermont Drug Laws

Vermont Drug Laws

Despite its comparatively small population, Vermont ranked first in many drug abuse categories for individuals between the ages of 12 and 17. In the most recent year on record, 12 percent of Vermont residents admitted to the use of illegal drugs within the prior month.

This is significantly higher than the national average of eight percent. However, the rate of drug-related deaths in Vermont is below the national average (10.9 per population of 100,000 compared to the national average of 12.7 per 100,000).

Prescription Drug Programs

Vermont is currently facing a significant threat from the abuse of prescription drugs. In an effort to fight back, the state has passed multiple forms of legislation to lower these rates.

Vermont offers a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP); this system helps professionals monitor and track prescriptions and distribution of prescription drugs, especially those that are highly addictive. Vermont also offers several drug take-back programs, which help residents safely get rid of old or unneeded prescription medications.

Marijuana Laws

In the state of Vermont, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, or less than three marijuana plants can carry up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to $500. More than two ounces or more than three marijuana plants can result in up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

For multiple offenses, these penalties significantly increase; possession of under two ounces yields a prison sentence of up to two years and/or a fine of up to $2,000. More than ten pounds of the drug or more than 25 plants can yield a sentence of up to 15 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $500,000.

The penalties for selling marijuana are much stiffer, with even amounts under half an ounce yielding up to two years’ imprisonment and/or up to a fine of $10,000. Trafficking marijuana, defined as 50 pounds or more, can land up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000,000.

Employment Drug Testing

In the state of Vermont, it is illegal for an employer to administer drug tests under certain conditions. The state does allow some forms of drug testing for applicants, but only when the applicant has been given advance notice of both the drug test and the firm offer of the job.

In the majority of Vermont workplaces, it is illegal to administer a company-wide random drug test. If an employer in Vermont administers such a company-wide drug test, or illegally pursues the drug testing of an employee, the state Attorney General has the authority to seek criminal or civil penalties from that employer.

Rehab Options

Fortunately, Vermont has a number of options for individuals who are seeking rehabilitation and recovery from substance-related problems. Many are subsidized by state funds for those who may otherwise be unable to afford it.

Vermont’s drug statistics are somewhat worse than comparable states in the country, but state legislators are attempting to fight back through controlled monitoring programs and public rehab assistance.

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