Ketzirah Lesser & Art Drauglis

Vermont House Rejects Senate-Approved Legalization Bill, Drafts New Proposal

The Vermont House has scrapped a cannabis legalization proposal passed by the Senate in February, deciding instead to write a new bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to two marijuana plants and establish a committee to study and make recommendations about issues related to legalization.

Rep. Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) drafted the new proposal and presented it on Wednesday.

The Senate bill, which passed with a 17 – 12 vote, would have legalized the commercial production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Though the move has been publicly supported by Gov. Peter Shumlin, the House decided it was too early to bring an abrupt end to cannabis prohibition and that more consideration was necessary.

The new House proposal also attempts to address the issue of drugged driving by creating a penalty for drivers with a 0.05 percent blood alcohol level and any trace of the psychoactive chemicals in cannabis.

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