May 3, 2016

Today: Vermont House To Debate Marijuana Legalization After Delay

May 3, 2016
Vermont Governor Phil Scott Vetoes Legalization Bill
vermont legislature
(image via Wikipedia)

The Vermont House was originally supposed to debate a marijuana legalization bill yesterday. However, that debate was delayed until today. The Vermont Senate already passed a marijuana legalization bill earlier this session, but the bill has hit snags in the House. The Senate version would create a marijuana retail industry in Vermont. The House appears to be unwilling to keep that provision, and instead is offering some compromises. Per WPTZ:

The bill had been on the House calendar for debate Monday, but lawmakers decided to delay action until Tuesday.

Compromise language is expected to be offered to double the amount considered decriminalized from 1 ounce to 2. However, key legislative leaders said they can’t muster enough support in the House for the Senate-passed bill.

The bill would not legalize retail sales of marijuana, as the Senate agreed to do. Instead, the proposed compromise decriminalized growing up to two marijuana plants at home.

The proposals coming out of the Vermont House are interesting, because it’s the first time there has been such an approach to marijuana legalization in America that has gained any traction. Marijuana legalization bills almost always involve a heavy focus on a taxed and regulated market, often with very large start up costs and fees for those that wish to open an industrial cultivation and/or retail business. The Vermont House is proposing something that keeps people out of jail, and allows personal possession, consumption, and cultivation of marijuana. Project SAM members won’t be able to use their favorite ‘commercialized THC’ rhetoric if these proposals become law in Vermont. It will be interesting to see how the debate goes today, and if the House version is passed, how the Vermont Senate will react.


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