Vermont Senate OKs Legal Marijuana; Bill Heads to Governor's Desk Next

Vermont Senate OKs Legal Marijuana; Bill Heads to Governor's Desk Next

Vermont Senate OKs Legal Marijuana; Bill Heads to Governor's Desk Next

The Vermont Senate just voted to pass H. Despite vetoing a similar effort a year ago, Governor Scott has stated he would likely sign this renewed effort.

Vermont's senate on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis use, which would make the state the first in the nation to do so through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative.

One in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside someplace where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized.

Once the bill is signed, Vermont will become the ninth overall state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, following its New England neighbors in MA and Maine.


The Vermont Senate voted to approve legislation Wednesday that would legalize the possession and cultivation of a limited amount of recreational marijuana, once signed by Governor Phil Scott. The bill has an effective date of July 1, 2018.

Last spring, the Legislature passed a similar bill, but Scott vetoed it because the Republican thought it didn't do enough to protect children from marijuana and enhance highway safety.

Sen. President Pro Tem, Tim Ashe, (P/D-Chittenden), echoed Sears, noting that this step was years in the making, and he thanked legalization advocates and lawmakers who ultimately opposed legalization for nonetheless participating in the legislative process. "This is the result of three years of pretty intensive committee work", Ashe said.

While the bill does not contain a mechanism to tax and regulate marijuana, as some states do, lawmakers who favor legalization hope the bill will prompt the Legislature to do that later.

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