Vermont Governor Vetoes Marijuana Legalization Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has vetoed a bill to legalize marijuana, saying it’s possible a compromise could be reached during the summer.

Senate Bill 22 would have legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and the personal cultivation of up to two mature plants (four immature), for those 21 and older. The measure was approved by the Senate 20 to 9, and by the House of Representatives 79 to 66. The proposal is the first legalization bill to ever be approved by a state legislature (the eight states with legal cannabis did so through the initiative process).

“We are disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto this widely supported legislation, but we are very encouraged by the governor’s offer to work with legislators to pass a legalization bill during the summer veto session”, says Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters want to end marijuana prohibition, and it is critical that the legislature respond by passing a revised legalization bill this summer. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and there is no good reason to continue treating responsible adult consumers like criminals.”

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Approved by Legislature, Sent to Governor

Vermont’s full legislature has passed a bill to legalize marijuana, making them the first in U.S. history to do so.

Vermont Marijuana LegalizationSenate Bill 22, which has now been approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate, would legalize the possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. It would also allow them to legally cultivate up to two mature, and four immature cannabis plants at a private residence. Although the measure doesn’t legalize cannabis retail outlets, it does establish a study commission to consider the regulation and taxation of marijuana for adult use.

Although there are eight states in the U.S. where cannabis is legal, passage of Senate Bill 22 marks the first time ever that a state’s legislature has approved a bill to legalize marijuana; all prior legalization laws were approved through voter-initiatives. The legislation will now be sent to the desk of Governor Phil Scott for consideration; Scott has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it.

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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.”

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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.”

 

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