Vermont Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill, Which Now Heads To Gov. Scott

Vermont Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill, Which Now Heads To Gov. Scott

The Democratic-controlled legislature passed H.511, which allows individuals 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to two plants to maturity.

Scott vetoed a marijuana legalization bill last May, but indicated he did so because of the bill's timing.

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

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.

The Vermont Senate just voted to pass H.

The vote comes amid growing concerns over the future of legal weed after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era Justice Department memo that allowed the legal marijuana industry to flourish in states that had approved it. Earlier this week the House passed the bill by an 81-63 vote, after far lengthier debate. It cleared the Senate Judiciary committee earlier in the day by a vote of 4-1.

Sen. President Pro Tem, Tim Ashe, (P/D-Chittenden), echoed Sears, noting that this step was years in the making, and he thanked legalization advocates and lawmakers who ultimately opposed legalization for nonetheless participating in the legislative process.

If Scott signs the bill into law, it would take effect on July 1, 2018.

The bill does not contain a legal mechanism to regulate the sale of marijuana, but lawmakers are pushing for such a mechanism.

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