The Vermont Senate passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use, making the state the first in the nation to do so through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative.
Lawmakers in the Vermont Senate took a voice vote Wednesday in favor of a bill that lets adults 21 and over possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow as many as four pot plants at a time, sending the legislation to 's desk where he's expected to sign it. The retail sales haven't been decided yet, and a special commission is created to analyze and determine to best possible strategy for regulation and taxing.
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but the Obama administration enacted policies that allowed states to legalize the plant without triggering government intervention.
"We'll take a look at it to make sure it's technically correct, and then I'll sign the bill", Scott said during a Statehouse press conference yesterday. "With the way this bill is written, having a few plants, there's nothing that the feds could do even if they wanted to".
Matt Simon, New England political director for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, disagreed.
Several law enforcement groups in Vermont have been steadily criticizing the upcoming legalization, stating that cannabis is potentially a serious health hazard, and that there's no simple way to determine the intoxication of drivers with marijuana.