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Vermont Senate passes recreational marijuana bill, governor expected to sign

10 January 2018

Vermont's Senate had previously passed a version of the bill last summer, but today's vote was required to approve the House of Representatives' decision to remove a study commission from the bill. Despite vetoing a similar effort past year, Governor Scott has stated he would likely sign this renewed effort.

"This is a big step forward for Vermont", said Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation's largest marijuana policy organization.

Vermont is poised to become the ninth state to make marijuana legal for adults and the first to do so through its legislature. Now that it has passed the state Senate, the bill will be sent to Governor Phil Smith for his signature.

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Vermont's Senate and House passed a similar marijuana legalization bill past year, but Mr. Scott vetoed it in May because he believed it lacked adequate safety measures.

The proposal would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and possessing two mature marijuana plants or four immature plants in each dwelling unit no matter how many people live in the unit.

To date, eight states - including California, Colorado and Nevada - have legalized recreational marijuana, but have done so through voter-approved ballot measures.

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"This will be an important milestone for the legalization movement".

A significant moment for the Green Mountain State as well as American history, Vermont has become the first state to legalize marijuana through the state's legislative process. Those states' marijuana laws can only be modified by legislatures. "MPP is proud to have helped lead the Vermont effort, just as we led the legalization ballot initiative campaigns in ME and MA in 2016. It's time for the federal government to respect the authority of states to determine their own marijuana policies". The policy, put in place under the Obama administration, allowed the legal marijuana industry to flourish.

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Vermont Senate passes recreational marijuana bill, governor expected to sign