Vermont Senate to Vote on Cannabis Legalization Law

The full Vermont Senate is expected to vote this Wednesday on a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis statewide, Vermont Business Magazine reports.

The bill advanced on Monday through the Senate Committee on Appropriations with a 4-3 vote. The Senate is expected to pass the bill, and then itwill then move to the House for a vote, where it’s future is more uncertain.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin openly supports the legalization proposal, and issued the following statement after Monday’s vote:

“This bill will allow Vermont to undercut the black market and get rid of illegal drug dealers, focus on prevention and treatment, and do a better job than we do currently of keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and addressing drugged drivers who are already on Vermont’s roads.

“The War on Drugs policy of marijuana prohibition has failed. We can and should take a smarter approach. I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature as this bill moves forward.”

Meanwhile, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and two former attorneys general — Jerome Diamond and Kimberly Cheney — issued a letter last week publicly endorsing the Senate’s plan to end cannabis prohibition.

“The Senate has worked diligently and deliberately on this legislation,” said Matt Simon, the Marijuana Policy Project’s political director for New England. “Most Vermonters believe it’s time to end prohibition and regulate marijuana, and it appears most of their state senators agree. We are hopeful that the Senate will approve this commonsense legislation and send it over to the House for its consideration.”

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