Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Vermont House votes to legalize the possession of marijuana

Vermont House votes to legalize the possession of marijuana

The state's Republican governor, Phil Scott, has already said he is "comfortable" with the legislation and has signaled he'd sign it.

The Vermont House and Senate are fixated with the passage of marijuana legalization along with Gov. Scott's complacency toward it.

Vermont is now poised to become the first state in the country to legalize marijuana through the legislative process.

The Vermont House of Representatives voted 83 to 61 Thursday in favor of a bill that would fully legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and allow individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. "We're proud to be the first state in the nation to pass marijuana legalization without the pressure of a public referendum".

"We applaud lawmakers for heeding the calls of their constituents and taking this important step toward treating marijuana more like alcohol", he said in a statement. The opposition appealed until the final roll - after proposing amendments to delay or otherwise limit some aspects of the scope - but the approved version is almost identical to what landed on Scott's desk last May.

"It shouldn't influence this bill because this bill was really about how Vermont law enforcement would treat someone who's in possession of an ounce or less or a certain number of plants in their possession", said Sears. That group is expected to make its recommendations later this month. Eight states and Washington D.C. have enacted recreational marijuana laws.

California launched the world's largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana on Monday, as dozens of newly licensed stores opened for business in the state.

Since, a commission formed by the governor has been studying possible outcomes of legalized pot in the state. Eight states and D.C. now have recreational marijuana laws in place, but only six of them now permit commercial sales: Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. "But, by golly, you got some grandmother smoking a marijuana cigarette in a state where it's legal, we've got to go after that", he quipped shortly after the department's Sessions-led policy change.

Matthew Schweich, interim executive director for the Marijuana Policy Project, declared the vote a rebuke of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement earlier in the day that he was removing the federal protections of the 2013 Cole Memo - potentially putting a target on the back of state-approved cannabis programs of all varieties.

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