Will Vermont Legalize Cannabis? Signed, Sealed, Delivered!
A bill legalizing marijuana for adults in Vermont received final approval from the Vermont Senate as well as Gov. Phil Scott, who vetoed a similar bill in 2017. In December, Gov. Scott indicated he had changed his mind and intended to sign the legalization bill into law. In early 2018 he did just that.
Will Vermont Legalize Cannabis? – What Does The New Law Mean?
House Bill 511 eliminated Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing up to one ounce of marijuana. It also eliminates penalties for possession of up to 2 mature marijuana plants and as much as 4 immature plants. This policy change takes effect in July of 2018. Unfortunately, at the time of writing no framework is in place for the actual sales. This is something the government will work on in the coming days.
By July 2018, adults more than twenty one can have to 1 ounce of marijuana. Additionally, 2 mature marijuana plants and 4 immature cannabis plants are allowed per housing unit.
The plants must reside in a protected enclosure which is away from public view. Cannabis harvested from plants does not count toward the one ounce limit providing it’s stored on site, in an indoor place, and “reasonable precautions are taken to prevent unauthorized access to the marijuana.”
Will Vermont Legalize Cannabis? The First Legislative Push For Legalization
“This is a huge step forward for Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Vermonters should be satisfied that their state is turning into the very first to do this legislatively, instead of by ballot initiative.”
Before the bill formed in the Senate, 57% of Vermont voters supported allowing adults over 21 to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana. These results are from a statewide survey of 755 registered voters conducted in March of 2017 by Public Policy Polling. This is in line with similar numbers throughout the country. Voters indicate over and over that they support marijuana legalization. Finally, the legislators are doing something about it in Vermont.
Vermont is the ninth state to make marijuana legal for adults and the very first to do this through its legislature. A total of 8 different states have enacted laws regulating and legalizing marijuana for adult use, but all through ballot initiatives. In Washington, D.C., voters approved a ballot initiative making personal possession cultivation legal for anyone over the age of 21.
Vermont and twenty two other states don’t have a ballot initiative process. Those states’ marijuana laws can only change through legislatures.
Will Vermont Legalize Cannabis? Yes, Now Will Other NE States Follow Suit?!
The Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island legislatures are also expected to move toward legalization this year. In fact, the New Hampshire House approved a similar measure in December of 2017. In Michigan, signatures have been submitted for a November 2018 ballot measure to regulate cannabis the same way as alcoholic beverages for adults.
Are you ready for a trip to the beautiful Vermont countryside this summer? East coasters are getting more excited as additional states topple to the pressure to legalize. Will New York follow suit?
Is cannabis legal where you live? Let us know what you think about it and Vermont’s recent move to legalize. Or, tell the world when you share this article on social media. We appreciate it!