Vermont to legalize Marijuana through State Legislature

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 18, 2015.

Vermont is all set to make history, as it may become the first state in the United States to legalize marijuana through a state legislature rather than going for a public vote. Vermont state Senator David Zuckerman’s bill, Senate 95, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and set up a regulatory body to monitor the cultivation and sale of marijuana in the state.

The bill will also prevent public consumption, while giving individual municipalities the option to veto marijuana retailers, and grant landlords authority to prohibit possession. Rep. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) will introduce a similar bill in the state’s House.

In Vermont, medical marijuana is already legal. However, the latest bill will pave the way for use of recreational marijuana in the state. Only Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. have passed the measures for recreational use of marijuana, but all their moves came through ballot initiatives.

Sen. David Zuckerman argued that 80,000 out of 626,562 Vermont residents use marijuana now. He also claimed that Vermont's economy will get a big boost if the bill is approved. Every year, millions of dollars are consumed by an unregulated market, thanks to the ban on recreational marijuana. The marijuana industry in Vermont may exceed the unofficial amount spent ($125-225 million per year).

Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are preparing to vote on legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016. In addition, Florida, Missouri and Montana are also trying to bring ballot initiatives to legalize the recreational pot.

comments powered by Disqus