Vermont just became the ninth state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The state is also the first to legalize the herb via a legislative act. Congratulations Vermont—welcome to the club.
Recently the house and state legislature passed H. 511. The bill allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of weed or up to five grams of hash. Adults can also grow up to two mature plants and four immature plants at home. However the bill doesn’t establish a system to tax and regulate weed sales.
Anyhow as promised Republican Governor Phil Scott signed the bill. “I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Scott wrote in a press release.
However the Governor signed the bill “with mixed emotions,” he said in a statement. “As I said when I vetoed S. 22 in May, I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Scott said in a statement. “In this context, it is very important to understand what H. 511 does and does not do.
“While this legislation decriminalizes, for adults 21 and older, personal possession of no more than 1 ounce, and cultivation of two mature plants on their private property, marijuana remains a controlled substance in Vermont and its sale is prohibited. Also, consumption of marijuana in public places is prohibited. Consumption of marijuana by operators and passengers in a motor vehicle is prohibited. Schools, employers, municipalities and landlords are also empowered to adopt policies and ordinances further restricting the cultivation and use.”
Scott said he has reservations about implementing a commercial system that “depends on profit motive and market-driven demand for its growth. I look forward to the Marijuana Advisory Commission addressing the need to develop comprehensive education, prevention and highway safety strategies,” Scott said. “To be very direct: There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial ‘tax and regulate’ system for an adult marijuana market. It is important for the General Assembly to know that — until we have a workable plan to address each of these concerns — I will veto any additional effort along these lines, which manages to reach my desk.”
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