MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF/WVNY) – Vermont is poised to become the first state in the country to legalize marijuana without a public referendum. The bill was tweaked and must now return to the Senate for a vote which could happen as soon as next week. It would then head to Governor Phil Scott’s desk for his signature.
The House and Senate approved legislation last year that would have allowed adults to possess an ounce of marijuana, two mature plants and four immature plants.
That version of the bill did address concerns about highway safety and youth access.
However, it wasn’t enough for Governor Phil Scott who axed the proposal citing highway and youth safety concerns.
“I believe what adults do behind closed doors and on their own personal property is their choice as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the health and safety of others,” explained Scott during a May press conference.
Since, a commission formed by the governor has been studying possible outcomes of legalized pot in the state. It is expected that this year’s version of the bill will be signed by Governor Scott.
The law would allow those 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It also allows for up to two cultivated plants and four uncultivated plants.
Thursday, Representative Chip Conquest said, “This moves us from decriminalization of a small amount of marijuana to legalization of the same amount, and allows those who are inclined to grow their own supply. It’s a small incremental step, and the right step for Vermont to take right now.”