Vermont Gov. Signs Cannabis Legalization Bill Into Law

Vermont became the first to do so without a ballot initiative

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) has signed the state’s cannabis legalization bill into law, making Vermont the ninth state to legalize adult-use cannabis and the first to do so without a ballot initiative. Vermont’s legalization plan will allow adults 21 and older to grow and possess cannabis, but stops short of a full “tax and regulate” system — the commercial sale of any cannabis products is still illegal, as is consumption in public spaces. Adults will be allowed up to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and will be allowed to have two mature and four immature plants at home.

The law takes effect on July 1. 

This is the second legalization bill to successfully pass through both of Vermont’s legislative bodies, but the first effort was vetoed by Gov. Scott, citing public safety concerns, last May. “After more than 15 years of hard work by MPP and our allies in the state, adults in Vermont no longer need to fear being fined or criminalized for low-level marijuana possession and cultivation. This is a great step forward for the state and the whole region. Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to enjoy a safer option legally, and law enforcement will be free to concentrate on serious crimes with actual victims.” — Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement. A survey by the Marijuana Policy Project recently found that 57 percent of Vermonters support cannabis legalization, while a Gallup poll from last November found that 64 percent of Americans — including a GOP majority — would support such reforms.


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