After Vermont lawmakers approved legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, Governor Phil Scott signed the bill into law on January 22.
Vermont’s legislature last week became the first in the United States to pass a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. The legislation, H.511, legalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of up to two mature marijuana plants and four immature plants for adults who are at least 21 years old.
The bill passed in the state House of Representatives earlier this month by 81 votes to 63 before receiving final approval by a voice vote from the state Senate last Wednesday. The bill was signed into law by Governor Phil Scott, with what he described as “mixed feelingsMonday, January 22. It will take effect on July 1st.
The bill does not establish a system for taxing and regulating the production and sale of marijuana, although that may come later. A commission created last year has been tasked with studying how marijuana is taxed and regulated.
“This is a huge step forward for the country and the entire region,” She said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release. “Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to have a legally safer option, and law enforcement authorities will be free to focus on serious crimes with actual victims. We look forward to working with lawmakers and state leaders to continue improving marijuana laws in Green Mountain.”
The move by Vermont lawmakers comes just days after US Attorney Jeff Sessions Reversing Federal Policy under Obama That directed prosecutors and law enforcement not to prioritize intervention with states that have legalized marijuana.
“Vermont in particular doesn’t care much about what the attorney general thinks,” She said Matt Simon, New England Political Director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “The way this law is written, with so few plants, there’s nothing the Feds can do even if they want to.”
Vermont legislators The use of marijuana by adults has been legalized for about the last year. The bill passed both legislatures, but it was Overturned by Governor Scott who was concerned that the proposal did not do enough to protect children’s use. he is Reviews put He wanted lawmakers to get him to consider signing and soon lawmakers rewrote the bill, making the required amendments.
Fifty-four percent of Vermont voters Support for recreational marijuana legalization. In a statement, Matthew Schwech, interim executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said states are fed up with “outdated and harmful” federal policies regarding marijuana.
“The action by the Vermont legislature assures that states will continue to lead the way toward more humane and reasonable marijuana policies even if this administration returns to the harsh and counterproductive federal policies of the past,” Schweich She said.
The first country to legalize marijuana under the Law of Legislators
With the proposal issued, Vermont It is the ninth US state to legalize recreational marijuana, and the first in the country to legalize it through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative. Vermont, which embarked medical marijuana In 2014, it is one of 23 states in the country that does not allow suffrage initiatives.
“The political courage of Vermont lawmakers to break with nearly a century of legislative stagnation should be interpreted as the siren call in the halls of state legislatures nationwide as well as the U.S. Capitol,” She said NORML Political Director Justin Strickall.
Voters in Eight US states and Washington DC So far it has chosen to legalize adult use of marijuana, including in nearby Maine and neighboring Massachusetts. Only Washington DC does not have a regulated market. The House of Representatives in New Hampshire last week Passing recreational marijuana bill not to sell, although the state governor has said he opposes legalization.
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This article has been updated since initial publication to reflect that the bill has been signed into law.