Join the movement to build a health approach to drugs in Vermont.

The Vermont state house.

Build a Health Approach to Drugs in Vermont

Vermonters are joining together to reform the state’s approach to drugs. They are pushing legislation to end criminal penalties for low-level drug possession and replace them with a public-health approach. This includes establishing drug-checking programs and overdose prevention centers statewide.

Vermonters Support Shifting the State’s Approach to Drugs

Since 2010, there have been nearly 10,000 arrests for drug possession in Vermont.

Source: FBI

From 2020 to 2021 Vermont experienced a 34% increase in fatal overdoses over the previous year.

Source: CDC

84% of Vermont voters support eliminating criminal penalties for small amounts of drugs.

Source: Data for Progress
The Vermont state house.

Criminalizing People for Drugs Causes Harm. Vermont Legislators Must Focus on Protecting Lives.

Criminalizing people for drugs has been shown to harm people psychologically, physically, and economically. It also creates barriers that make it harder to link people who need help with available services. Even the fear of arrest pushes many people away from services that may help them remain safe and healthier. The Vermont decriminalization bill (H. 423 / S. 119) makes clear that we shouldn’t put people in handcuffs to get them help.

The Vermont Decriminalization Bill Will End Criminal Penalties for Low-Level Possession.

The Drug Policy Alliance supports bills pending in the Vermont House of Representatives (H. 423) and Senate (S. 119), which will end arrests for personal-use possession of controlled substances. The bill will:

  • Eliminate criminal penalties for possessing or sharing personal-use amounts of drugs;
  • Fund drug checking programs operated by community-based organizations;
  • Protect from arrest anyone using or providing drug checking services;
  • Establish an advisory board comprised of experts in substance use, harm reduction and treatment;
  • Require VT Helplink to develop a system for connecting people with voluntary comprehensive health needs screenings;
  • Require a report on budgetary savings resulting from decriminalization in Vermont, so that funds can be reinvested in harm reduction services.

The Drug Policy Alliance also supports legislation (H. 72 / S. 70) that will allow overdose prevention centers to be established in Vermont. The bill would make clear that anyone using the services of an overdose prevention center, staff members administering them, and owners of property where an overdose prevention program is located cannot be arrested or prosecuted for their involvement in such programs.


Vermonters, tell your rep to support drug decriminalization and build a health-based approach to drugs.

Email your representative
A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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