Vermont Is Really Close To Legalizing Marijuana

With legalization expected, backers keep up push for regulated pot market

With legalization expected, backers keep up push for regulated pot market

This Vermont bill will eliminate the state's civil penalty for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and remove possession penalties of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants.

Gov. Scott has previously told reporters he will sign the bill, though he vetoed a previous version in May.

Vermont would become the ninth state to pass recreational use of marijuana.

Passed with a simple voice vote, the "Yea" vote won.

Vermont's senate on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use, which would make the state the first in the nation to do so through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative.

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

Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, sees this as a massive win for the legalization movement. Scott will have five days to sign the bill once it lands on his desk. The law would take effect July 1. Some lawmakers may press to establish a market for the sale of marijuana after that.

► December 31: How will legalizing marijuana affect police work?

Law enforcement groups in Vermont have criticized the legalization drive, saying the drug poses health risks and that there is no way to quickly test drivers who might be intoxicated by marijuana.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Vermont's bill. "The American people have made their position clear". 511, a bill that would legalize cannabis for adults. As of March 2017, 57% of Vermonters were in favor of it.

The Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island legislatures are expected to seriously consider making marijuana legal for adults this year as well, and the New Hampshire House approved a similar measure on Tuesday.

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