Vermont will be the 9th state in America to allow adult use of marijuana starting this Sunday, July 1, 2018. The law allowing recreational use in the “Freedom and Unity” state, allowing them to finally live up to their motto.
The new law, which was reluctantly signed by Republican Governor Phil Scott in January, allows for adult (over 21) possession of up to one ounce of flower and also allows up to two mature plants to be grown at home. The Governor vetoed a similar law that was passed by the Vermont legislature last May.
“I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Gov. Scott said in a statement.
Unlike most state adult use laws on cannabis, Vermont’s legislature rose to the challenge and passed the law. At this point, no commercial sales are allowed, but the legislators indicated they will be looking at a “tax and regulate” system soon, which Gov. Scott indicated he would not consider it unless comprehensive education, prevention and highway safety strategies are developed beforehand.
“To be very direct: There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial ‘tax and regulate’ system for an adult marijuana market,” Gov. Scott explained.
There is overwhelming support for medical cannabis and an increasing majority of Americans also support adult use. Legislators that act ahead of the curve will be able to develop systems they would prefer, as opposed to initiative led laws that may not be as comprehensive as some of their own taxation and regulation ideas.
“The majority of Vermonters, like the majority of the American public, desire to live in a community where responsible adults who choose to consume cannabis are no longer criminalized or stigmatized,” Norml Deputy Director Paul Armentano explained “Vermont lawmakers and Gov. Scott are to be recognized for responding to the will of the voters, rather than choosing to ignore them.”
“Vermont is leading by example. Lawmakers in other states would be wise to follow,” Armentano added.