2018-01-11 / Front Page

Vermont House Approves Marijuana Bill 81-63

MONTPELIER— On the very first day of this year’s Legislature, the Vermont House gave approval for legalization of small amounts of marijuana in a vote of 81 to 63 last week. Gov. Phil Scott says he’ll sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
Vermont will be the first state in the country to legalize marijuana through the legislative process. In the eight states that have already legalized marijuana, the issue was approved by voters in a statewide referendum and the role of lawmakers was to work out the details of the plan.
The bill passed by the House allows individuals to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to two mature plants.
Newbury Rep. Chip Conquest, the vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said “Continuing to prohibit the personal use of a substance that poses little risk to public safety and less risk of harm to the user than other legal substances is antithetical to a free society which must, to remain free, have a rational justification for infringing on the freedom of its citizens.” 
Arlington Rep. Cynthia Browning wants to delay the process.  She said “I want them to know that if they are pulled over, there will be a way to ascertain whether they are impaired, just as they know with alcohol.”
The bill now goes to the Senate and Bennington Sen. Dick Sears, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, says he supports the House bill.

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