Vermont House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana legalization legislation has been passed through its second reading by Vermont’s full House of Representatives.

The proposal will now need to be passed through one more reading in the House. It’s already been passed by the full Senate, but will need to go back for a final vote before going to Governor Phil Scott, given it was amended in the House.

The proposed law would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for those 21 and older. It would also allow them to grow up to two mature (and four immature) cannabis for personal use at a private residence.

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Vermont House Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Marijuana Possession and Cultivation

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older has been passed by the House Judiciary Committee.

The committee passed the measure with an 8 to 3 vote; it’s expected to be voted on soon by the full House. The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, and grow up to two mature cannabis plants (and four immature plants).

“Today’s vote shows just how far this issue has advanced in just this past year,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters agree it makes no sense to continue punishing adults for consuming a less harmful substance than alcohol — especially now that it is legal for adults in Massachusetts and Maine. Vermonters are ready to close the book on marijuana prohibition.”

Read moreVermont House Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Marijuana Possession and Cultivation

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill to Receive Public Hearing on Thursday

A bill that would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older will receive a public hearing in Vermont’s House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 23rd.

Vermont Marijuana LegalizationThe committee will hold their public hearing on House Bill 170 at 1pm on Thursday. The measure would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and the personal cultivation of up to two cannabis plants, as well as a regulated system of cannabis retail outlets.

Below is a list of speakers that have been invited by lawmakers to either support or oppose the measure:

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The 5 States Most Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next (and by 2018)

Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. Oregon and Alaska followed in 2014. In 2016, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada joined the movement. Here’s a look at the five states most likely to be next, and by the end of next year.

 

Vermont

Last year Vermont’s Senate became the first in U.S. history to approve a measure (Senate Bill 241) that would have fully legalized cannabis for those 21 and older. Despite also being supported by the state’s attorney general and governor at the time, it failed to pass the House.

However, proponents are taking up the issue again in 2017, with the added momentum of four additional states having legalized cannabis just a few months prior.

The state’s new Governor Phil Scott unfortunately doesn’t support legalization, but is at least open to the idea, saying “I can appreciate the discussion around ending the prohibition of marijuana.”

 

Read moreThe 5 States Most Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next (and by 2018)

Vermont Governor Pardons Nearly 200 people Charged with Cannabis Possession

In his final week in office, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has pardoned 192 people who were convicted of cannabis possession.

Vermont Governor Peter Schumlin.

This brings the total number of pardons issued by Shumlin to 208, the most ever issued by a Vermont governor.

“A minor marijuana possession charge should not be an anchor that holds back an individual from getting a good job or going about their life,” Governor Shumlin said in a press release following the pardons. “While attitudes and laws about marijuana use are rapidly changing; there is still a harmful stigma associated with it. My hope was to help as many individuals as I could overcome that stigma and the very real struggles that too often go along with it.”

Read moreVermont Governor Pardons Nearly 200 people Charged with Cannabis Possession

Vermont Now Accepting Applications for Pardons of Cannabis Charges

vermontStarting today, December 8th, and going until Christmas day, December 25h, Vermont Governor Peter E. Shumlin will consider pardoning “convictions of marijuana possession up to one ounce for those with no felony convictions or violent criminal convictions.” The possession of up to an ounce of cannabis was decriminalized by lawmakers in the state in 2013.

“A governor’s pardon is an extraordinary act”, state’s the governor’s office. “Applying for a pardon does not guarantee a pardon will be granted. All applications will be considered by the Governor and either granted or denied at his discretion.”

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Vermont House Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Cannabis Possession, Home Cultivation

denvermariThe Vermont House Ways and Means Committee approved Senate Bill 241 today with a 6 to 3 vote after amending it to allow adults in Vermont to possess small amounts of cannabis, as well as grow it for personal use. The bill – which was approved by the Senate in February as a full legalization bill, including retail outlets – will now go to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Unlike the version of the bill passed by the Senate, the new version of Senate Bill 241 does not allow for a regulated system of cannabis cultivation centers and retail outlets. However, it does allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, and cultivate up to two plants, given they receive a $125 license from the state.

Read moreVermont House Committee Approves Bill to Legalize Cannabis Possession, Home Cultivation

Vermont’s Full Senate Passes Measure to Legalize Cannabis

cannabud

[Update; February 25: A day after giving initial approval, Vermont’s Senate has given final approval to Senate Bill 241. The vote was 17 to 12; it’s been sent to the House of Representatives for conideration.]

Vermont’s full Senate today gave initial approval to a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older; the vote was 16 to 13. The Senate will need to vote one more time – expected to occur later this week – before it goes to the House of Representatives. Governor Peter Schumlin, a supporter of the measure, applauded the Senate’s decision.

“Vermonters have been yearning for leadership on this issue, and the Senate is really stepping up and demonstrating it,” said Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The senators did not arrive at this vote lightly. They engaged in an exceptionally deliberative process, and like most of their constituents, they have arrived at the conclusion that it’s time to end prohibition and regulate marijuana.”

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Third Senate Committee in Vermont Passes Bill to Legalize Cannabis

cannabudThe Vermont Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill today that would end cannabis prohibition in the state and regulate the plant for adult use. The measure has already been approved by two Senate committee, and is expected to receive a full Senate vote soon.

“The Senate has worked diligently and deliberately on this legislation,” said Matt Simon, a political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters believe it’s time to end prohibition and regulate marijuana, and it appears most of their state senators agree. We are hopeful that the Senate will approve this commonsense legislation and send it over to the House for its consideration.”

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Vermont: Second Senate Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

vermontWith a 6 to 1 vote, the Vermont Senate Committee on Finance passed a bill today that would legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older. The bill was given approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee exactly two weeks ago. It now goes to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, where its passage will set it up for a full Senate vote.

If passed into law, Senate Bill 241 would allow those 21 and older to legally possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis. The proposal would authorize a system of cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail outlets, where people can purchase the plant.

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