Vermont just became the first state in the US to pass the legalization of marijuana through legislature. Last Thursday, just hours after Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, State House of Representatives in Vermont passed a bill that allows residents to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow up to two plants at home.
There was already an earlier version of the bill that passed last summer. Last week’s vote passed 81 to 63. It will now move to the state Senate, where it will be given to Vermont Governor Phil Scott to make the final decision. Scott has indicated in the past that he supports signing the bill into law.
Scott however, has mentioned he is skeptical of the commercial sale of cannabis, so those who wrote the original bill simply removed it. If Scott approves the bill, residents of Vermont won’t be able to buy it, but they will be able to grow their own. And if approved, this could happen by the end of the month.
According to Scott, “It’s not a high priority for me, but I did make a commitment that I was supportive of the bill that was put together.” He also said in December that he was “comfortable” with signing the bill that just recently passed.
US Attorney in Vermont, Christina Nolan, turned down commenting on efforts of the state to legalize cannabis. Nor was anything mentioned about Sessions’ revocation of the Cole Memo, in which state attorneys now have the decision-making power to crackdown on legal marijuana laws.
NORML Political Director Jason Strekal applauds the state of Vermont for its decision saying, “The political courage of Vermont’s lawmakers to break with nearly a century of legislative stagnation should be interpreted as a siren call in the halls of the state legislatures nationwide as well as the U.S. Capitol.”