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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Poised For Full Senate Vote


vermont marijuana decriminalizationThe Vermont Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a bill (4-3) on Monday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate marijuana for adult use. It is now expected to receive a full Senate vote.

“The Senate has worked diligently and deliberately on this legislation,” said Matt Simon, the Montpelier-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters believe it’s time to end prohibition and regulate marijuana, and it appears most of their state senators agree. We are hopeful that the Senate will approve this commonsense legislation and send it over to the House for its consideration.”

  1. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would also create a study commission to examine issues such as edible marijuana products and home cultivation, which would not be allowed under the bill. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana. If approved, rulemaking would begin this summer, but the new law would not take effect until January 2018.

Last week, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and two former attorneys general, Jerome Diamond and Kimberly Cheney, sent a letter to legislators encouraging them to move forward with the proposal to end prohibition and regulate marijuana.

“Instead of subsidizing gangs and cartels with a failed prohibition policy, we believe Vermont should focus on reducing the harms associated with marijuana and other drug use through prevention, education, treatment and smart enforcement strategies,” the letter said. “We strongly believe that these goals can best be achieved through regulation, not prohibition.”

The full letter from the attorneys general is available at http://bit.ly/21a6tuc.

Earlier today, Vermont Public Radio released the results of a new poll conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute that found 55% of Vermonters support passing a law to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Only 32% said they are opposed. The survey of 895 Vermonters was conducted February 3-17. More information about the poll is available at http://bit.ly/1OqACZz.

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The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a broad coalition of citizens, organizations, and businesses working to end marijuana prohibition in Vermont and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateVermont.org.


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Johnny Green


  1. The increase of lobster sales in New Hampshire should occur about the same time as legal recreational . Be ready N.H. fishermen!

  2. The sale of lobster in New Hampshire should increase about the same time as the legalization of recreational in Vermont. Be ready fishermen!

  3. The most interesting thing about Vermont is that it would be the first to reform by legislature. It’s also serving as a minor distraction for prohibition groups. If the bill doesn’t go into effect until 2018 it doesn’t matter much if they don’t pass it this session. Prohibition groups are buying lawmakers in the House. Even another year of jailing prohibition offenders is millions of dollars to the prison companies.

    We read stories from other states about reform and think ”good for them” only to see their hearts broken when a special interest group moves in a crushes the political process. The Big Pharma boogey monster is really not even interested. At one time maybe it was Dupont and Hearst. But today the biggest proponents of prohibition in America are the industries that billions of dollars in a federal budget creates.

    Private prisons and privately managed prisons, health care contracts for prisons, services for prisons, court ordered services, social workers, prison shrinks and quacks, and even urine testing. Marijuana prohibition offenders are more profitable to imprison than genuine criminals. Real criminals can cost a fortune and the private prisons don’t get paid any more for the real criminals. It makes a lot of sense to keep prohibition for anyone in that business and it is a multi billion dollar industry that is recession proof.

    The urine testing industry is still larger than the legal marijuana industry in America. That’s all they do is test. Without government mandates Quest diagnostics wouldn’t exist. Revenue: 7.35 billion USD (2012)

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