Republican lawmakers in the Vermont House refused a special veto session this week for an adult-use legalization bill, ultimately killing Vermont‘s final chance of passing major cannabis reforms until sometime next year, the Burlington Free Press reports.
The bill in question had been vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott last month over concerns held by the governor that the legislation did not go far enough to protect children or to penalize drivers caught driving while under the plant’s influence. The governor sent the bill back to lawmakers saying that, if they addressed his concerns, “there is a path forward on this.”
Senators heeded the governor’s words and reconvened in a special session on Wednesday to easily pass an adjusted version of the bill. The bill will go no further, however, as House Republicans blocked the bill from consideration that night. Instead, state representatives will pick up the legislation where they left off when the legislative session starts up again at the beginning of next year.
The bill in question was the first and so far only piece of legislation legalizing recreational cannabis to ever make it out of a U.S. state legislature and onto a governor’s desk. If it had been successful, the bill would have legalized the adult possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis and the home growing of up to four cannabis plants starting in July of 2018.
With the next legislative session set to begin in January, however, it remains possible for Vermont to approve a legalization law that could still take effect by the July 1, 2018 target date.
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