Despite Trump's new war on pot, Vermont just legalized marijuana

That makes Vermont the 9th state to allow recreational use, and the first to do so through the state legislature instead of via ballot initiative. But it creates a Marijuana Regulatory Commission (with the same membership as the advisory commission that Scott appointed last September) that is charged with studying "regulation and taxation of a commercial adult-use marijuana market that is economically sustainable, reduces the illegal marijuana market, [and] results in net revenues to the State after appropriate costs for education, public health and public safety have been deducted".

Gov. Phil Scott has privately signed Vermont's recreational marijuana bill into law "with mixed emotions". Scott is now the first governor in the country to sign marijuana legalization into law.

The new law is unlikely to prompt people who don't now smoke marijuana to take it up, said Robert Sand, a Vermont law school professor and former county prosecutor who has advocated for years to change the state's drug laws. It allows adults to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and have two mature and four immature plants.

Repealing prohibition also allows state law enforcers to focus their time and limited resources on more pressing issues than busting people for smoking a joint.


The Vermont Legislature passed a similar proposal last spring, but Scott vetoed it, citing practical concerns.

"Adults in Vermont no longer need to fear being fined or criminalized for low-level marijuana possession and cultivation", New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project Matt Simon said. Lawmakers revised the proposal to do more to protect children and enhance highway safety.

Scott had previously said he would sign the bill, which he called "a libertarian approach".

At least seven other states, including NY and New Hampshire, were set to debate marijuana legalization later this year. Reports started to come in on Monday afternoon that Scott had indeed signed the bill.


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