Doug Kerr

Vermont’s Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee is holding extra meetings this year to discuss issues related to cannabis, according to a Bennington Banner report. Medical marijuana access and screening for DUI are among the topics that will be discussed by the 10-member committee.

The conferences come after state lawmakers declined to pass a recreational use bill last session. That bill passed the Senate, but was defeated in the House.

Democratic Sen. Dick Sears said there was a lot of miscommunication in the legislature regarding the legalization bill, suggesting that the House could come up with their own legalization plan this session. He said the lack of support last year was due to the cultivation and sale measures allowed by the proposal, and that those provisions allowed prohibitionists to find allies in the pro-legalization camp which ultimately led to the bill’s defeat.

“They wanted to be able to grow marijuana and sell it at the local farm stand like you would tomatoes,” Sears said in the report.

The first of the six sessions will take place on Sept. 12, focusing on the history of cannabis and its current legal status. Sears was unsure if the House would take up a legalization bill this term.    

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