The Vermont Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill earlier this year (S.241). Vermont's Governor, Peter Shumlin, has expressed a strong desire to see Vermont become the first state to legalize marijuana via legislative action. Polls have shown that Vermont voters support marijuana legalization. So what is the hold up? So far this session, it's been the Vermont House. It sounds like that is set to change on Monday. Per Vermont Public Radio:
House Speaker Shap Smith says the House will debate a bill legalizing marijuana Monday.
Smith says it's not clear if any version of the bill will actually win majority support.
"I do think that the current policy is broken and I'm disappointed that we haven't been able to find consensus," says Smith. "But I think what you would see is that the people in the House who are discussing this and have differing points of views are people of good faith who just haven't been able to reach a consensus on a really difficult issue."
I have never been to Vermont, so I'm not familiar with Speaker Smith's character. I hope that he is telling the truth when he suggests that there is definitely support, and that it's just a matter of finding consensus. It would be very sad if it's all just a delay tactic to try to run out the clock on the session. I guess we will have to see how the debate goes on Monday. In the meantime, it's probably a good time to shoot an e-mail over to your Representative if you live in Vermont so that they walk in to supportive reform messages on Monday morning. You can find their contact info at this link here.