Vermont Governor Vetoes Bills on Drug Advisory Board, Expungement

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed legislation last week that would have created a drug use standards advisory board and expanded eligibility for the of non-violent crimes, according to the Associated Press.

The advisory board, which would have been established within the state sentencing commission, would have been responsible for determining “the benchmark personal use dosage and the benchmark personal use supply” for regulated and unregulated drugs, according to the news outlet.

The board’s work was meant to prevent and reduce the criminalization of personal drug use, AP reported, but Scott said the bill to establish the advisory board “places no limits on which drugs can be contemplated for legalization or the amounts” and incudes “absolutely no recognition” of the health and safety impacts of using drugs such as fentanyl and heroin.

The bill also fails to acknowledge the role of in stopping drug dealers, Scott said in his May 19 letter to the General Assembly, according to AP.

On the bill would have expanded eligibility for the of non-violent crimes, Scott said in his veto message that he determined the legislation was “inconsistent with the state’s responsibilities to keep the public safe,” according to AP.

“We are not talking about reducing penalties for violent crimes or changing expungement eligibility,” Rep. Selene Colburn, P-Burlington, who supported the legislation, told the news outlet. “We are simply talking about treating people who have used drugs and who have struggled with substance use disorder with dignity and respect and the basic belief that their lives

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