Vermont Gov Undecided On Signing Marijuana Legalization Bill

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By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection


Governor Phil Scott (R) of Vermont has voice concern over signing the marijuana legalization bill passed last week by the state legislature. The Vermont bill, if signed, would legalize possession of less than an ounce of cannabis. It also allows for cultivation of two mature plants at a residence. There is no change to the DUII laws in the bill. The fear of increased traffic fatalities and DUII seems to be a seminal concern of the governor.

Phil Scott has supported decriminalization for years. Though some had expected he would sign the bill, he expressed his concerns about full legalization on Vermont Public Radio (VPR) on Friday, May 12. Tom Angell at Mass Roots reported:

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) says that this week’s passage of a marijuana legalization bill by the legislature “came as a bit of a surprise” and that he hasn’t yet made up his mind on whether he will let it be enacted into law.

“I’m not philosophically opposed to legalization but I do believe we’ve got to get this right,” he said in a Friday appearance on Vermont Public Radio’s Vermont Edition, adding that he is “incredibly concerned about highway safety.” The governor also raised concerns about children’s access to edibles.

No provision has yet been established to produce or distribute legally, but the bill would also create a 9 member commission that would be tasked with determining the best path forward. Many have lauded the move as being progressive and a good way to proceed. A recent poll showed that 57% of Vermont residents support “allowing adults who are 21 or older to use, possess, and securely grow marijuana.”

Governor Scott’s hesitation is not unexpected. During the campaign in 2016 he also appeared on VPR in June last year and expressed his point of view on a number of issues, one of which was marijuana legalization. VPR reported:

“I’ve been consistent in my response … when I was in the Senate, I voted in favor of medical marijuana. I was supportive of decriminalization. But I’ve said, ‘Not right now.’ I don’t think we have enough information at this point. We have four other states that have legalized right now, and until we have some answers to questions, like impairment on our highways and the edibles and the tax structure and so forth and so on, I think we – the governor of Colorado even said …  ‘My advice to any states that are looking to legalize is, why don’t you wait a couple years?’ And they’ll work some things out. We’ll learn from them. We can’t afford to make any mistakes here. So I’m not saying never. I’m saying it’s the timing’s not right. It’s not now.”

We hope Governor Scott does the right thing and signs this bill. The majority of the constituents want it, and once its legal, even more will be happy the law finally changed. His fears are unfounded and the facts do not support the idea that traffic fatalities will rise, or any other pernicious effects that are always deals in facts, the decision is easy.

© 2017 Oregon Cannabis Connection. all rights reserved.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

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10 thoughts on “Vermont Gov Undecided On Signing Marijuana Legalization Bill

  • 05/15/2017 at 10:41 am

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Legalize Nationwide!

  • 05/15/2017 at 10:42 am

    Legalizing Marijuana will not create a massive influx of marijuana impaired drivers our roads.

    It will not create an influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) under the influence on the job either.

    This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.

    Truth: Responsible drivers don’t drive while intoxicated on any substance period!

    Irresponsible drivers are already on our roads, and they will drive while intoxicated regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    Therefore, legalizing marijuana will have little impact on the amount of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.

    The same thing applies to people being under the influence of marijuana on the job.

    Responsible people do not go to work impaired, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

  • 05/15/2017 at 10:43 am

    Contrary to what prohibitionists are so desperately trying to get the public to believe wholeheartedly and without question, legalizing marijuana IS NOT adding anything new into our society that wasn’t always there and widely available already.

    Marijuana has been ingrained within our society since the days of our founding fathers and part of human culture since biblical times, for thousands of years.

    So, since marijuana has always been with us and humans already have thousands upon thousands of years worth of experience with marijuana, what great calamities and “Doomsday Scenarios” do prohibitionists really think will happen now due to current legalization efforts that have never ever happened before in all human history?

    Legalize Nationwide!

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  • 05/16/2017 at 2:26 am

    He’s probably concerned about harmaceutical companies throwing enough cash his way.

  • 05/16/2017 at 5:05 am

    I can’t get my head around why our seated politicians are so far out of tune with their constituents. The acceptance of medical and recreational Cannabis use just keeps rising and the old time pols keep standing their ground for ‘I’ve made up my mind so don’t confuse me with the facts’. We need a few obstructionists to be unseated in the next round of elections because of their stance to cause a positive reflection of the majority attitude about Cannabis.

  • 05/16/2017 at 5:55 am

    No one seemed hell bent on getting the criminality right. The Government is responsible for the vast majority of violence around cannabis, if not all of it.

  • 05/16/2017 at 2:52 pm

    They are pro alchy and big tobacco

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