Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Vermont Is Really Close To Legalizing Marijuana

Vermont Is Really Close To Legalizing Marijuana

Once the bill is signed, Vermont will become the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, following its New England neighbors in MA and Maine.

Eight other states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, all through ballot initiatives.

Law enforcement groups in Vermont have criticized the legalization drive, saying the drug poses health risks and that there is no way to quickly test drivers who might be intoxicated by cannabis. Leaders of the Democratic-controlled Legislature there have said a bill could be passed by early spring. Washington D.C. also does not have an industry component to its legalization model, but Vermont would be the first state to have such a distinction.

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The vote Wednesday in Vermont comes a week after the Trump administration announced it would scrap an Obama-era policy offering legal shelter for state-sanctioned marijuana sales. The bill, which takes effect in July, will make Vermont the first state to allow recreational use through the legislature rather than a ballot initiative. "MPP is proud to have helped lead the Vermont effort, just as we led the legalization ballot initiative campaigns in ME and MA in 2016".

Discovery Communications will leave Maryland for NY
About 1,300 Discovery employees are based in the Silver Spring area, and 1,000 are based at Scripps' Knoxville headquarters. I respect the contributions Discovery has made over the last 15 years to Silver Spring and Montgomery County.

The bill, House Bill 511, legalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of two mature and four immature plants by persons 21 or over. Despite vetoing a similar effort a year ago, Governor Smith has stated he would likely sign this renewed effort.

New Hampshire's House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a similar bill to legalize recreational cannabis use.

The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation's largest marijuana policy organization.

"For the second time in two years, Vermont lawmakers have rejected the failed Flat Earth policies of marijuana prohibition", NORML's Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, "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".

Activists in favor of marijuana legalization are cheering the state's move, however.

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