Vermont legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on January 30, 2018.

Vermont became the ninth U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana and the first to end marijuana prohibition through an act of lawmakers rather than by use of a ballot measure.

Republican Governor Phil Scott signed H. 511 into law "with mixed emotions" Monday night, allowing for the possession of recreational marijuana.

The new law will come into effect on July 1 this year.

"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 following the bill signing.

"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," he added.

Among other restrictions, consumption of marijuana in public places is prohibited according to the new law. Consumption of marijuana by operators and passengers in a motor vehicle is also prohibited.Besides, schools, employers, municipalities and landlords are also empowered to adopt policies and ordinances further restricting the cultivation and use.

Moreover, Vermont marijuana users will have to face the same hurdles as residents in the District of Columbia due to the prohibition of commercial marijuana sales.

All eight other states that had previously legalized recreational marijuana did so through voter-approved ballot initiatives.

Vermont had legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2004. It is among the 29 states that allow marijuana to be prescribed for medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among others, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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