Vermont Senate OKs Legal Marijuana; Bill Heads to Governor's Desk Next

Vermont Senate OKs Legal Marijuana; Bill Heads to Governor's Desk Next

Passed with a simple voice vote, the "Yea" vote won.

That's because some committee members wanted to clarify the amount of marijuana that people could have within a single "dwelling unit".

The Vermont Senate has voted to legalize recreational marijuana, putting the state back on path towards becoming the first in the country to legalize cannabis with its legislative body rather than a ballot measure. Republican Gov. Phil Scott has indicated he would sign the bill, which was approved by the House last week.

The measure legalizes the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana and two mature and four immature marijuana plants by people 21 or older. Vermont and 22 other states do not have a ballot initiative process. Vermont's Senate had previously passed a version of the bill last summer, but today's vote was required to approve the House of Representatives' decision to remove a study commission from the bill.


Almost eight months after vetoing a similar proposal over safety concerns, Mr. Scott's signature is slated to make Vermont the ninth state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana, albeit the first to rely on its elected lawmakers rather than the voting public.

Five of the first states to legalize the drug - Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada - together generated more than $485 million in tax revenue off cannabis sales in the first nine months of 2017, according to an analysis by the Marijuana Policy Project.

"This will be an important milestone for the legalization movement". Sanctioned to smoke, carry, or grow under the new legislation, residents will find the commercial cultivation or distribution of marijuana will remain a crime in the state. Those states' marijuana laws can only be modified by legislatures. The policy, put in place under the Obama administration, allowed the legal marijuana industry to flourish.

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