Senate leaders: Vermont pot bill unlikely to pass

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Top Senate lawmakers in Vermont say passing a marijuana legalization bill is becoming exceedingly unlikely.

The Vermont House is still debating their version of a legalization bill, which would simply legalize personal cannabis use, possession and cultivation. There are just over three weeks to go in the lawmaking session and Senate lawmakers expected the bill to get to them weeks ago.

Senate leaders also say the House bill would continue to allow for a black market, and they favor a law that would tax and regulate sales of the plant. A Senate measure in 2016 that proposed a legal marijuana market died in the House last year.

Vermont’s constitution disallows referendums, thwarting another avenue to legalize marijuana as other states have done.

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