A bill that would legalize and regulate the possession and licensed retail sales of cannabis in Vermont is on the move.

Said legislation, which has the full support of Governor Peter Shumlin, is designed to “cautiously and deliberately legalize marijuana” in the state.

“The War on Drugs has failed when it comes to marijuana prohibition,” Governor Shumlin said in a detailed statement that outlined five ground rules he will require to be included in any legislation to legalize marijuana that’s presented to him.

Here are the principles Governor Shumlin must see in any marijuana legislation’s language:

  • A legal market must keep marijuana and other drugs out of the hands of underage kids. With 83 percent of Vermont youth saying that marijuana is easy or somewhat easy to obtain, the current system doesn’t do this.
  • The tax imposed must be low enough to wipe out the black market and get rid of the illegal drug dealers.
  • Revenue from legalization must be used to expand addiction prevention programs.
  • Law enforcement’s capacity to improve the response to impaired drivers under the influence of marijuana who are already on Vermont’s roads must be strengthened.
  • The sale of edibles must be prohibited at first.

And according to Shumlin, the legislation that successfully traversed the Judiciary Committee of the Vermont Senate by a vote of 4 -1 on Friday “meets these criteria”.

Now the measure scoots over to the Senate Finance Committee so they can ponder how sales of marijuana should be taxed.

If the bill does indeed pass the state’s full Senate, it will move to the House, where it’s been reported that few feel it will be victorious in 2016.

Stay with us for any updates.

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