Vermont is the only state in America that has seen its legislature pass a marijuana legalization bill. And not once, but twice. Vermont’s Legislature passed a marijuana legalization bill in 2017 but the bill was vetoed by Vermont’s Governor (Phil Scott) who requested that changes be made to the bill. Vermont’s Legislature stepped up quickly in 2018 and officially today sent the bill to Governor Scott’s desk for his signature:
Just signed H.511 legalization of cannabis. Should be headed to the Gov. today. Proud to be a part of criminal justice reform and civil liberty. Will continue to work for Tax and Reg to reduce youth access, and add $$ for prevention, treatment and safer roads.
— Dave Zuckerman (@DaveZuckermanVT) January 16, 2018
Governor Scott now has five days to sign the bill, which he has stated that he will do. It’s unclear right now if the bill signing will be done in private, or via a public event. Per Burlington Free Press:
Scott will have five days to sign the bill, and he has not yet announced whether he will host a public signing ceremony.
Scott said Thursday that his approval would not be contingent on the contents of a report from his state marijuana commission, which is due Monday. Some opponents of legalization had urged a delay.
“I still firmly believe what you do in your own home should be your business as long as it doesn’t affect someone else,” Scott said.
Once Governor Scott signs the bill Vermont will become the 9th state to legalize cannabis in America and the first to do so via legislative action. The bill will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, cultivation of up to two mature cannabis plants, and up to four immature cannabis plants. It would take effect on July 1, 2018. The bill does not create a taxed and regulated system for marijuana sales.