Lawmakers in Vermont have approved legalizing recreational marijuana, and the bill soon goes to the state’s Republican governor, who says he will sign it.
The bill soon goes to the state’s Republican governor, who says he will sign it.
The bill allows possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, or two mature plants. It does not allow a regulated retail market, such as California’s or Colorado’s.
But the "yes" vote in the Vermont State House marks the first time legalization has been approved by a Legislature. The eight other states that made pot legal have done so by citizen referendum.
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman said the bill was a good first step to a regulated market for marijuana in the Green Mountains.
"The legislative system is catching up with the public. And people are getting over the hurdle of, this is an absolute evil that doesn’t exist and somehow by supporting this we’re bringing it into existence," Zuckerman said, "and more a recognition of what’s already out there in Vermont."
Next week the bill goes to Republican Gov. Phil Scott. He’s already promised to sign it.
John Dillon reports from Montpelier, Vermont, as part of the New England News Collaborative.