Legal marijuana in Vermont? It’s looking like Vermont is going to become the first state to legalize marijuana using its legislature, instead of through a vote by citizens.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Vermont House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated. The bill was already approved by Vermont’s Senate. That doesn’t mean it’s legal yet, though. The bill will be sent to the governor, and he can either sign it or veto it.
“I think it reflects that Vermont elected officials are more in touch with our constituents than a lot of elected officials in other states,” said Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman. “I think the public is ahead of us, but elected officials tend to be cautious when it comes to change.”
According to The Hill, it’s unclear if Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) will sign the bill, but he has said legalization is not “a priority.” Considering he seems ambivalent, the bill passed both the Senate and the House and the fact marijuana is pretty popular in Vermont, one would guess he’ll probably sign it.
If Scott does sign the bill, Vermont will become the ninth state to legalize weed. The law would take effect in July of 2018.
“The action by Vermont lawmakers signals a new phase of the marijuana legalization movement,” Tom Angell, founder of the Marijuana Majority, told The 420 Times. “We are now at a point where the issue has become so popular with voters that more politicians are feeling comfortable enough to grapple with it themselves.”
One thing that could impact the governor’s decision is how the Justice Department under Attorney General Sessions views marijuana. Session seriously hates weed. That could mean approving the bill would cause the governor trouble in the future. Considering Scott is a Republican, he might feel like he has to stay in line with the Trump administration. We’ll have to wait and see.
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