Just a Fine for Vermont Pot Grower

New law goes easier on people charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana

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A 74-year old Vermont man will be the first person to be merely ticketed for growing marijuana instead of arrested, under the new state law decriminalizing small amounts of pot, Reuters reports.

William Reynolds will be fined $200 for a marijuana plant he grew in his apartment. The plant was discovered after a tip about a “suspicious plant” led police officers to Reynold’s apartment complex.

The fine will be the first of its kind after Vermont passed a new law making it the 17th state to decriminalize possession in small quantities. Before the new law, possessing up to two ounces of marijuana could carry a six-month jail sentence. Now, the state is using civil penalties, similar to traffic tickets, to punish small-time users.

Vermont’s new law resembles similar decriminalization measures in¬†Connecticut, Maine, Nebraska,¬†Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and California, but stops short of the new measures in Colorado and Washington legalizing adult recreational pot use. Last week, the Obama administration said it wouldn’t block these states from enforcing their own marijuana laws.