Vermont Legislature Makes History, Passes Legalization Bill for Marijuana
By Habit 420
Oregon Cannabis Connection
The Vermont legislature made history on Wednesday, May 10th, when they sent Gov. Phil Scott a bill that will legalize adult use of marijuana in the New England state. A legal medical marijuana state since 2004, the historic vote marks the very first time a state’s legislature made the move to legalize and not a direct vote by the people through a referendum.
The Vermont House of Representatives voted 79 to 66 in favor of the bill. The bill had already been approved by the senate so it will go directly to the governor who is expected by some to sign the bill into law.
The bill will legalize possession of amounts of cannabis less than an ounce, but no dispensary or production system has yet been developed, the move was in anticipation of that inevitability. Burlington Free Press reports:
“I think it reflects that Vermont elected officials are more in touch with our constituents than a lot of elected officials in other states,” said Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who has worked on marijuana issues for the majority of his political career. “I think the public is ahead of us, but elected officials tend to be cautious when it comes to change.”
Wednesday’s vote closed a divisive debate over legalization, particularly in the House, that once prompted Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe to predict that legalization would take a “miracle” to pass this year. Advocates hugged and shared high-fives outside the two chambers after the vote …
The proposal incorporates H.170, the House-supported bill that would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature marijuana plants or four immature marijuana plants for adults over 21. The effective date has been pushed back one year until July 1, 2018.
The law also creates a 9 member commission that will study the possibilities of legalization and how best to proceed. DUII standards will remain unchanged and consumption in public places prohibited. As in other states, no protections are offered from employment, landlord, or school discrimination for those who consume the plant.
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