Vermont Moves Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana for Adults

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.

The Senate amended H. 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House.

The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Advances; New Poll Shows Strong Public Support

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont House Judiciary Committee approved a bill 8-3 Wednesday that would make personal possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.

“Today’s vote shows just how far this issue has advanced in just this past year,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters agree it makes no sense to continue punishing adults for consuming a…

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Over 50 Vermont Attorneys Urge Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

MONTPELIER, VT — More than 50 Vermont attorneys have signed a letter urging the Legislature to “reform our state’s outdated and unjust policies towards cannabis by passing a bill to legalize and regulate its cultivation and sale for adult use in 2017.”

The letter will be presented to lawmakers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H. 170, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Room 30 of the Vermont State House.

Hose Bill 170 is a bipartisan…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings Start Thursday

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers will start legislative hearings on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Vermont on Thursday.

The Vermont House Committee on Judiciary is slated to hear testimony on House Bill 170, which would legalize limited marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults 21 or older.  The bill being considered is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican.

If passed, HB 170 would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for…

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Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 or older.

House Bill 170, sponsored by Reps. Maxine Grad (D), Charles Conquest (D), and Thomas Burditt (R).

If passed, the bill would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and up to ten grams of concentrates by adults.

Adults would be allowed to grow up to two mature and seven immature cannabis plants in a…

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Activists Renew Push to Legalize Marijuana in Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT — A renewed push to legalize marijuana in Vermont will kick off Wednesday at the State House.

Members of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, including representatives from Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, ACLU-VT, and the Marijuana Policy Project, say Vermont should join other New England states that are removing legal penalties for adult possession and home cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.

Massachusetts and

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These Five States Could Legalize Marijuana Next

Four states, including California, the nation’s most populous, voted to legalize marijuana on November 8. That doubles the number of legal states to eight (plus the District of Columbia), and more than quadruples the number of people living in legal marijuana states, bringing the number to something around 64 million.

Every one of those states legalized marijuana through the initiative process, but we’re not going to see any more initiatives on state ballots until 2018, and perhaps 2020. That means that if we are to make more progress…

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Vermont: House Members Turn Back Marijuana Reform Efforts

Vermont: House Members Turn Back Marijuana Reform Efforts

MONTPELIER, VT — Members of the Vermont House spent over six hours this week debating various amendments to reform marijuana policy, but ultimately decided against enacting any significant changes in law.

House lawmakers voted 121 to 28 to reject Senate-approved language that sought to regulate the adult use, commercial production, and retail sale of marijuana. Although Gov. Peter Shumlin and Attorney General William Sorrell publicly supported the effort, House members expressed little interest in seriously considering the measure.

House…

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Vermont House Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill, Restores Legalization Provision

Vermont House Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill, Restores Legalization Provision

The version of S. 241 approved Friday by the House Ways and Means Committee still does not create a regulated marijuana market, but now allows adults to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana

MONTPELIER, VT — The House Ways and Means Committee approved Senate Bill 241 on Friday (6-3) after amending it to allow adults in Vermont to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana. The bill will now go to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

S. 241 still does not create a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales,…

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Vermont Governor Critical of Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Vermont Governor Critical of Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Vermont Governor Calls CRMLA’s Proposal a “Bad Pot Bill”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who has encouraged lawmakers in his own state to pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, had some critical words about a proposed ballot initiative to do the same in a neighboring state.

In a blog post earlier this week, Shumlin says that now is the right time for Vermont to legalize marijuana, noting that if the House approves a legalization bill that has already passed in the Senate, the Green Mountain State could be the “first…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Wins Final Approval in Senate, Heads to House

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Wins Final Approval in Senate, Heads to House

House members will begin working on S. 241, which would end marijuana prohibition in Vermont, after they return from Town Meeting Week

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate gave final approval to a bill Thursday (17-12) that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use.

Senate Bill 241 received initial Senate approval on Wednesday. It will now advance to the House of Representatives, which will begin working on it after members return from Town Meeting Week.

“We applaud the…

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Vermont Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill

Vermont Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont state Senate voted 17-12 Thursday to approve a bill that would end pot prohibition in the state and replace it will system of taxation and regulation.

Thursday’s vote today was the second Senate vote this week to approve the bill, which will now go to the House for consideration.

The measure, Senate Bill 241, would allow people 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, but not to grow it after some powerful lawmakers said that provision would be a deal-breaker.

Instead, the bill now contains a provision to…

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Vermont Senate Votes to Legalize Marijuana

Vermont Senate Votes to Legalize Marijuana

The Senate must approve S. 241 a second time in order to send it over to the House of Representatives; a vote is expected sometime this week

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate gave its initial approval to a bill Wednesday (16-15) that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use.

It must approve the measure a second time in order to send it over to the House of Representatives.  A second vote is expected sometime this week.

“Vermonters have been yearning for leadership on…

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Vermont Clergy Express Support for Marijuana Legalization Bill in Letter to Senators

Vermont Clergy Express Support for Marijuana Legalization Bill in Letter to Senators

In a letter to state senators on Tuesday, a diverse group of more than a dozen local clergy and faith leaders from across Vermont said they have ‘a moral obligation to support change’ because the state’s current marijuana prohibition laws ‘have caused more harm than good for the people of Vermont’

MONTPELIER, VT — In a letter to state senators on Tuesday, a diverse group of more than a dozen local clergy and faith leaders from across Vermont expressed support for legislation that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and…

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Vermont Senate Could Vote This Week on Marijuana Legalization Bill

Vermont Senate Could Vote This Week on Marijuana Legalization Bill

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate could vote soon on a widely supported bill that could make Vermont the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through the state legislature.

Supporters in the Senate hope the bill is called for a floor vote soon, so the House can have time to act on the measure during the 2015-2016 legislative session, which ends on May 16.

If passed, Senate Bill 241, which would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older in Vermont to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. The bill would also establish…

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Marijuana Reform Advocates Launch Vermont Ad Campaign Featuring Former AG Kimberly Cheney

Marijuana Reform Advocates Launch Vermont Ad Campaign Featuring Former AG Kimberly Cheney

In the ad, a former Vermont attorney general compares current marijuana prohibition laws to the ‘disaster’ of alcohol prohibition; he notes that ‘most Vermonters support a more sensible approach’ and urges them to contact their state senators — who are currently examining the issue— and tell them, ‘It’s time to end prohibition and start regulating marijuana in Vermont’

MONTPELIER, VT — A new television ad featuring Vermont’s former top law enforcement official speaking out in support of regulating marijuana will begin…

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings to be Held Tuesday

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings to be Held Tuesday

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont will hold a committee hearing on Tuesday to consider two bills that have been filed to legalize marijuana in the Green Mountain State.

Senate Bill 95, sponsored by Senator David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden), and Senate Bill 241, sponsored by Senator Jeanette White (D-Windham), will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 19th.

Both bills would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older, with minors under 21 subject to civil fines — but not criminal charges — for possessing…

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Ex Vermont Attorney General: Time to Regulate Marijuana

Ex Vermont Attorney General: Time to Regulate Marijuana

Vermont’s Former Top Law Enforcement Official Backs Effort to End Marijuana Prohibition in 2016, Appears in Ads Highlighting the Benefits of Regulating Marijuana

MONTPELIER, VT — A former top state law enforcement official has thrown his support behind the effort to end marijuana prohibition in Vermont in 2016.

In a statement released Tuesday, former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney voiced his support for regulating marijuana in Vermont:

“As a former attorney general of Vermont, I am committed to bringing awareness to the…

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Vermont Governor Calls for Marijuana Legalization in State of the State Address

Vermont Governor Calls for Marijuana Legalization in State of the State Address

It has long been speculated that Vermont could legalize marijuana in 2016, and become the first state in the country to do so through the state legislature.

The legalization of marijuana in Vermont took a huge step closer to reality Thursday, when Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) called the War on Drugs a failure and called upon the state legislature to pass the “right bill” to legalize marijuana in Vermont.

“The outdated War on Drugs has also failed, and there is no greater example than our nation’s marijuana laws,” Shumlin…

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Vermont Governor Asks Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

Vermont Governor Asks Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

Gov. Shumlin Declares Drug War a Failure and Calls for Legalizing Marijuana in State of the State Address

MONTPELIER, VT — Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin called on lawmakers to pass legislation legalizing and regulating marijuana in his final State of the State address this week.

He also declared the drug war a failure and expressed desire to continue emphasizing a health-based approach to drug policy by expanding treatment and overdose prevention programs, as well as by removing the stigma associated with drug use and addiction.

“Pete…

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