Vermont set to legalize Recreational Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 16, 2016.

The Vermont House of Representatives is all set to take up the recreational marijuana bill passed by the state Senate in February, which would allow the adults over 21 to buy and smoke the drug starting from 2018. If the House passes the bill, Vermont will be the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana through legislative action rather than voter initiative.

The recreational marijuana bill of the state would ban users from growing plants at home. It would also prohibit selling of products with marijuana extracts. In addition, the new law would impose a 25 per cent tax on marijuana sales that would fund drug education programs and drug law enforcement.

Kimberly Cheney, Vermont’s attorney general from 1973 to 1975, is among the proposed measure’s supporters. “Instead of continuing this failed policy, we should regulate marijuana in a controlled environment to limit underage access and ensure consumer safety for adults,” Cheney wrote in a recent article. “We have the power to decide who benefits from an industry that is clearly not going to disappear.”

Recreational marijuana is already legal in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, all of which passed legalization through voter ballot initiatives. However, voters in four more states including neighboring Massachusetts are to vote on marijuana legalization in November.

Notably, the marijuana drug remains illegal under federal law.

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