The House in Vermont has passed a measure last week that helps the state get closer and closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. The bill, passed by a margin last Tuesday, was approved with a 71 to 74 vote.
H.170 was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chair Maxine Grad, a Democrat in the state, as well as Vice Chair Charles Conquest, another democrat, and ranking Republian Representative Tom Burditt. The measure allows adults 21 and older to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana. The bill is now headed to the Senate, and it will most likely be next year that it will be brought up for debate. Next January will be the start of Vermont’s 2018 lawmaking session.
Former Governor Peter Shumlin said in a statement awhile back, “Vermont should follow the many states that are legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana and put to an end the incredible failure that is the War on Drugs.”
Current Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, is not as positive as Shumlin is, and has told VPR’s Meet the Candidate radio series that “right now” wasn’t the time to legalize adult marijuana consumption.
“I’ve been consistent in my response … when I was in the Senate, I voted in favor of medical marijuana. I was supportive of decriminalization. But I’ve said, ‘Not right now.’ I don’t think we have enough information at this point,” said Scott. “So I’m not saying never. I’m saying it’s the timing’s not right. It’s not now.”