Vermont Senate could delay recreational marijuana vote

Vermont Senate could delay recreational marijuana vote

H. 511, the bill the Vermont Senate just approved, would eliminate penalties for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and remove penalties for having two mature plants and four immature plants.

The measure, H.511, now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott for approval.

Vermont is poised to become the first state in the country to approve the recreational use of marijuana by an act of the Legislature rather than through a citizen referendum.

New Hampshire's House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a similar bill to legalize recreational marijuana use.

To date, eight states - California, Colorado, Nevada to name a few - have legalized marijuana, but have done so through voter-approved ballot measures.

However, during a Wednesday morning session of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a vote set for the afternoon seemed like it could be delayed at least a day.

On Thursday, January 4, the Vermont House passed this bill, sending it to the Senate for concurrence.

If Scott signs the bill into law, it would take effect on July 1, 2018. "This is the result of three years of pretty intensive committee work", Ashe said. Sanctioned to smoke, carry, or grow under the new legislation, residents will find the commercial cultivation or distribution of marijuana will remain a crime in the state.

Sen. John Rogers called for as much on the floor, after giving a brief history of cannabis in the United States, saying the tax revenue could pay for education, prevention and enforcement.

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