After eight other states and the District of Columbia have already legalised the use and possession of marijuana, Vermont will become the ninth one. After the state senate passed the bill last week by a 20-9 vote, the state’s House of Representatives also voted in favour of it by 79-66. If the governor signs it, then Vermont will get the distinction of making cannabis legal by legislation as all others so far have done that by ballot initiative.
The Governor of Vermont Phil Scott, a Republican, has not yet made up his mind and said that this legislation is not “a priority for Vermont.” Rebecca Kelley, the spokeswoman for Governor said that he would consider all the details of the legislation and then decide on whether to veto, sign or let it pass into law without his signature.
She said, “On the issue of legalising marijuana, the Governor has said he is not philosophically opposed, but we must ensure certain public safety and health questions are answered.”
This measure that is taken by the state of Vermont will come into effect from July next year and under it, all adults aged 21 and above will be able to buy and use the drug. Once the governor of Vermont signs it, it would be legal for adults to keep two mature pots plants and the civil penalties that were imposed till now for possessing one ounce of marijuana or less would be removed.
The political director of a marijuana policy group, Marijuana Policy Project New England, Matt Simon was of the opinion that the lawmakers of Vermont have created a historic moment by bringing and passing this legislation. He believed that this legislature will prove to be a crucial step taken towards ending the policy of marijuana prohibition that had failed miserably.
The District of Columbia and the eight states that have legalised the use and possession of marijuana so far have their own strings attached to it. Like for instance, the first state to legalise marijuana has a rule that it can be grown only by those individuals that will be using it for medicinal purposes, but any adult can possess and use it. Similarly, in Washington, D.C, it cannot be sold, bought or exchanged for any other goods or services, but can be gifted and used.
So far, the federal policy considers the possession and use of marijuana as illegal, though several states have legalised it.