A new report from the Vermont Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office shows that decriminalizing marijuana would result in the state saving roughly $700,000 a year, making it a fiscally conservative move. From WCAX:
Rep. Jason Lorber is pointing to a new study that shows the state spends over $700,000 going after people with less than two ounces of pot.
“And there’s some violent crime out there. There’s murder, there’s rape, there’s serious crime they can focus their attention on. And focusing on and diverting their time away and going after people with one or two ounces of pot doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Lorber, D-Burlington.
While $700,000 may seem small, it is significant savings when you consider that Vermont only has a population of roughly 620,000. That is a saving of roughly $1.13 per resident of the Green Mountain State.
The recent election of Democrat Peter Shumlin as Governor has significantly increased the chances that Vermont will decriminalize marijuana in the near future. Shumlin has been a vocal supporter of reform. Being able to show that decriminalization should save the state money will likely make the task of shepherding a bill through the legislature that much easier.