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Burlington city councilors postponed hot-button debates Monday on granting leniency to people convicted of marijuana-related crimes and allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections — indicating they weren’t yet willing to put those issues on the ballot.

Three Burlington issues were proposed as potential ballot questions for voters in November, a symbolic show of support for issues that would require action from the state Legislature to become law.

Neither proposal, however, won sufficient support to move forward Monday.

Marijuana amnesty

Several Burlington residents commented on removing records of past marijuana-related crimes, but the issue did not make it to a vote on Monday night.

The proposal was sponsored by Progressive councilors, Vince Brennan and Rachel Siegel of Ward 3 and Selene Colburn of Ward 1, and supported by BTVGreen, the group that led a Burlington referendum on cannabis legalization in 2012.

The Burlington City Council considered putting the following question on the November ballot: “Shall the people of Burlington support unconditional amnesty for all Vermonters convicted of Hemp- and Cannabis-only offenses since the beginning of their prohibition?”

The City Council resolution on the issue stated that the prohibition of marijuana has “inflicted devastating and unnecessary costs on our nation and its people.”

“This isn’t about putting a law in place,” Siegel said at Monday’s meeting. “This is just about weighing public opinion.”

Siegel said it was clear that the measure would fail in a vote — meaning it would not be able to be discussed again until a new council took office.

To preserve the chances of bringing …read more