Vermont Makes Marijuana History

Freedom Fighter Farms cannabis buds.

Vermont made cannabis law reform history today as the first state to pass marijuana legalization measures through both the state House and Senate chambers. The Vermont Senate passed legalization 21 to 9 while the House just passed a noncommercial legalization proposal after a third reading 75 to 71. The two chambers now need to pass identical measures before the legislature adjourns in a week to send a legalization bill to the state’s governor.

Most politicians are years behind their constituents on cannabis legalization, so the progress in Vermont is a huge development for the marijuana movement and should have positive implications beyond its borders. Other states’ officials will feel more emboldened to follow the will of their voters (strange concept, huh) after they see that Vermont politicians don’t suffer negative political repercussions, as well as the benefits the state will experience by saving costs and better prioritizing law enforcement resources.

Good luck to the Green Mountain State. Hopefully, legalization will become a reality this year, but even if the state doesn’t reconcile the two different legalization bills this year, the state has a great headstart on ending cannabis prohibition next year.

Below is an email the Marijuana Policy Project sent out following the historic vote by the Vermont House:

Today, Vermont made history by becoming the first state where both the House and Senate passed marijuana legalization bills!

We’ve had success passing adult-use laws through ballot initiatives in the past, but never have state lawmakers done it themselves.
What’s next in Vermont?

Unfortunately, the clock is running out. The legislature is expected to adjourn in less than a week, leaving little time to reconcile the House and Senate’s different visions for legalization. Meanwhile, the governor has signaled he isn’t interested in signing a marijuana legalization bill this year.

If legalization doesn’t make it to Gov. Scott’s desk this year, the bills will pick up where they left off in January 2018. We are thrilled with this progress and are working to get other state legislatures to follow suit!

This historic moment didn’t happen over night. MPP has been lobbying Vermont lawmakers for years to pass marijuana-related legislation. In order to continue making progress at the state level, we need support from people like you.

If you want to see Vermont and other states pass marijuana legalization bills, contributing to MPP will greatly speed up that process. The more we can raise, the more we can accomplish.
Anthony Johnson
About Anthony Johnson 155 Articles
Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the Political Action Committee responsible for Oregon's Measure 91 cannabis legalization campaign and co-owner of Duff Johnson Consulting. As Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Anthony served on the state's initial Marijuana Advisory Committee and he continues to advocate for sensible policies that decrease unnecessary arrests, protect patients' safe access, and help small businesses. With Duff Johnson Consulting, Anthony helps cannabis farmers, processors, retailers, and ancillary businesses with licensing, compliance, public relations, and marketing. DJC clients include the International Cannabis Business Conference, the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, Cannabliss, Natural Roots, and numerous medical cannabis cultivators that provide free cannabis to patients in need.Anthony co-hosts the Let's Hash It Out podcast, available here on Weed News, at, Sound Cloud, iTunes, and Stitcher. Anthony's blogs on Weed News are personal and don't necessarily reflect the views of any organization or company.