Vermont Legislature Just Became the First to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
The noble Vermont Legislature has just become the first in the United States to approve a bill to legalize marijuana. This also makes them the official chillest state legislature, so congrats to them on both accounts.
The bill, titled H.511, was passed by Vermont's Democratic-controlled legislature on Wednesday and allows those 21 and over to posses up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to two plants to maturity. It does not, however, set up a system of dispensaries as most other states have.
Though he vetoed a previous version of the bill last may, Republican Governor Phil Scott says he'll sign the measure into law later this month. He did however insist on a provision that makes possessing marijuana while under the age of 21 a misdemeanor. After the bill is signed, the law will take effect on July 1.
If you're wondering what the big deal is since eight states have already legalized weed (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, plus Washington, DC, if you're keeping track), the difference is those were voter-approved ballot measures. Vermont is the first state to pass a weed bill via a bunch of politiians talking in a large room. This is great news for the legalization movement for obvious reasons, but it's also a sign that lawmakers feel more comfortable voicing their true opinions on the issue.
While this is progress, it comes in the wake of a big hit to the pot-smoking community/people with sensible views on drug policy: Last Wednesday, the Trump Administration announced it would no longer be offering a legal shelter for state-sanctioned marijuana sales and the businesses in that industry, as was the policy during the Obama era. Decidedly unchill.
Considering, however, that two-thirds of the US supports legalization according to a recent Gallop poll, it's likely we keep heading weed-ward.
h/t LA Times