Vermont Legislature Votes to Legalize Marijuana

Today, the Vermont Legislature became the first state legislature in the nation to approve a marijuana legalization bill and send it to a governor’s desk! The House voted 79-66 to concur with the Senate’s amendment to S. 22, which means the next step will be the governor’s office! Governor Phil Scott will have three options when the bill arrives on his desk: sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

The amended S. 22 represents a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate. As amended, the…

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Vermont Senate Passes Another Marijuana Bill

On Friday, for the second time this year, the Vermont Senate voted to legalize marijuana for adults’ use! The Senate voted 20-9 to attach the legalization language from H. 170 to an unrelated bill, S. 22, and added a study commission to consider regulation and taxation. It will now be up to the House whether or not to concur with the Senate’s offer of amendment.

This move represents an attempt by the Senate to compromise with the House, which voted for the first time in its history to legalize marijuana earlier this week. H. 170,…

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Vermont House Approves Bill to Legalize Possession, Home Cultivation

Late Tuesday, the Vermont House of Representatives made history by voting to legalize marijuana. H. 170, which would eliminate penalties for adults’ possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and limited home cultivation passed the House in a 74-68 vote. If the bipartisan measure is approved at a third reading, which is expected this week, it will advance to the Senate.

H. 170, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Vice Chair Charles Conquest (D-Wells River), and ranking Republican Rep. Tom Burditt…

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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 House Moves Legalization Bill Back to Committee

Vermont House Moves Legalization Bill Back to Committee

Mar 30, 2017 H. 170, Human Services Committee, Vermont, VT


On Tuesday, the Vermont House of Representatives appeared to be ready to pass H. 170, which would legalize marijuana possession and cultivation for adults. Unfortunately, instead of…

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Key Committee Approves Marijuana Possession Bill in Vermont

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee voted 8-3 to approve H. 170, a bill that would eliminate penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and a small number of plants. Additionally, an independent poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project and conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 57% of Vermonters support H. 170.

As amended by the committee, H. 170 would eliminate penalties for adults 21 and older who possess one ounce or less of marijuana, two mature plants, and four immature plants — as well as the marijuana…

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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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Vermont House Vote Expected on Bill Legalizing Possession and Cultivation

The Vermont House of Representatives is expected to vote soon on H. 170, a bill that would eliminate penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and a small number of plants. The bill is expected to pass the House Judiciary Committee next week, and then it will likely advance to the House floor, where the vote is expected to be close.

Please call or email your representatives today, and urge them to vote YES on H. 170.

As amended by the committee, H. 170 would eliminate penalties for adults 21 and older who possess one ounce or…

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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 House Judiciary Hearings on Marijuana Bill to Begin This Week

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee will begin holding hearings this week on H. 170, a bill that would legalize possession and limited home cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and older. This bill is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican, and its prospects appear to be bright: Vermont Public Radio reported on Friday that the House “appears more receptive” to legalization in 2017, and Governor Phil Scott is “willing to consider the House plan.” 

Although this bill would not legalize and…

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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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Election Day Voter Guides

Today is the day! This is the biggest election in marijuana policy reform history, but even if you can’t vote on a legalization or medical marijuana ballot initiative today, you could play an important part to make future progress possible in your state.logo-mpp-286-mpp-and-we-change-laws

Before you vote, please check out MPP’s voter guides if you live in the following places:

Delaware

District of Columbia

Illinois

Nebraska

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Vermont

And don’t forget to tell your friends in Arizona, Arkansas, California, FloridaMaine,

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Influential Vermont Marijuana Study Criticized

Doctors, social workers and academics are criticizing a Vermont health department marijuana study completed earlier this year which helped persuade the state’s House of Representatives to reject a recreational cannabis bill in May.

Critics of the 84-page report charged it was narrowly focused on the negative aspects of marijuana, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Had lawmakers approved the recreational MJ bill, Vermont would have become the first state in the nation to approve legalization through its legislature.

The Vermont Department…

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Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

MONTPELIER, VT — Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed legislation into law expanding the state’s medical cannabis program.

Provisions contained in Senate Bill 14 permit patients with glaucoma, chronic pain, and/or those in hospice care to be eligible for cannabis therapy; eliminate the requirement that patients must have previously tried other conventional treatments “without success” prior to being eligible for medical cannabis; and amend the existing doctor/patient relationship requirements in a manner that expedites certain…

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Vermont MMJ Dispensaries Expecting Big Jump in Patient Counts

Alex Ford

By Omar Sacirbey

Vermont’s small medical marijuana market could see its patient count more than double after the state made chronic pain among the conditions treatable with MMJ.

Vermont MMJ businesses must now calculate how best to ramp up production to meet the increased demand.

In addition to chronic pain, a new law – signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 6 – adds glaucoma as well as hospice care patients to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The state has three…

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Vermont Governor Signs Bill Expanding Medical Marijuana Access

The Vermont medical marijuana program took an important step forward today when Gov. Peter Shumlin signed S. 14, a bill that will make it possible for more patients to qualify for the medical marijuana program.

Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin
Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin

“At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management,” Shumlin said in a statement.

Specifically, the bill reduces the…

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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 Revives Marijuana Bill

Last week, some observers appeared to give up on Vermont legalization bill S. 241 after it was gutted by the House Judiciary Committee. Not so fast! Today, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to amend S. 241 and restore core legalization provisions. 2000px-Vermont_state_seal.svgThe bill would not only legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older, but it would also allow personal cultivation of up to two plants. Next, the bill is expected to be considered by the Appropriations Committee.

In order to legally…

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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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Week in Review: Oregon MJ Boost, Support for Vermont Rec Bill & New York Blues

weeklywrapupimage

By Omar Sacirbey and John Schroyer

Oregon dispensaries get some great news, Vermont’s governor throws his weight behind a recreational marijuana bill, and New York’s fledgling MMJ program continues to struggle.

Here’s a closer look at several notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

More Relief in Oregon

Medical dispensaries in Oregon are rejoicing this week, as they should be.

On Tuesday, the state’s governor signed into law a bill that, among other things,…

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Vermont Governor Criticizes Massachusetts Rec Initiative

A battle is brewing between two New England states over which has the better cannabis legalization proposal.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said a recreational legalization bill recently approved by his state’s Senate and now being considered by its House of Representatives is superior to a recreational legalization ballot measure in Massachusetts that backers expect to have before voters in November.

The difference? Massachusetts’ ballot measure permits edibles, smoking lounges, and home…

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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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Tiny Rhode Island Could Become Big Marijuana Market if Rec Bill Passes

rhode island cannabis law

By Omar Sacirbey

Shortly after introducing a bill last month to legalize recreational marijuana in Rhode Island, state Rep. Scott Slater received an interesting call from a local business owner.

The caller offered support for the bill, saying his company develops fertilizer from squid excrement that could potentially be used in cannabis cultivation.

“He told me ‘I hope your bill passes, we need this,’” Slater recalled. “There are so many industries created by marijuana, and that’s…

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Rec Legalization No Slam Dunk in Vermont

One of the prime states expected to legalize adult use cannabis this year via its legislature may not get across the goal line after all.

A legalization bill won a narrow victory in the Vermont state Senate last week, but getting a legalization bill passed in the state’s House of Representatives will be even more difficult, according to Vermont Public Radio. The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee, which will begin its deliberations in mid-March.

House Speaker Shap Smith told…

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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 Approves Marijuana Regulation Bill

Today, the Vermont senators who support ending marijuana prohibition stepped onto the Senate floor knowing they would face a contentious debate from their prohibitionist colleagues. After much discussion, the champions of reasonable regulation narrowly prevailed when the Senate voted 16-13 to approve S. 241!

However, S. 241 must survive an additional floor vote before it advances to the House.

If you are a Vermont resident, please send one more message to your senators and let them know how you feel about this…

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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 Finance Committee Votes to End Marijuana Prohibition

On Friday, the Vermont Senate Finance Committee voted 6-1 to approve S. 241, a bill that would end marijuana prohibition for adults and create a regulated and taxed system for marijuana production and sale. Before passing the bill, the Finance Committee adopted a 25% tax rate that would be applied to retail sales. (This is roughly on par with the tax rates in Oregon and Colorado, and it is significantly less than the rate in Washington state).

This bill is still a work in progress. We will continue to update you on…

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Connecticut Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Regulate Marijuana for Adults

Last week, 10 Connecticut state representatives introduced HB 5236, legislation that would legalize the sale and use of marijuana for adults.Seal-of-Connecticut While it is unlikely HB 5236 will pass during this year’s short session, garnering co-sponsors and holding a hearing this year will help build the foundation for passage down the road.

If you are a Connecticut resident and support ending marijuana prohibition in your state, please contact your representative and ask him or her to support HB 5236.

In addition to the four…

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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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ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

With the release last year of the first detailed analysis and comparison of state medical marijuana laws, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) created a patient-focused tool to identify effective programs and problem areas. That groundbreaking report was followed by the release of ASA’s new, far more detailed report on state programs, which reflects the many new states that have added programs as well as others that have improved their existing programs.

Like the original report, this latest white paper enables advocates, policy makers and…

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ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

Patient Advocates Hope Report will Help State Legislators “Make the Grade” in 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” on Tuesday. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative…

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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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Vermont Coalition Launches Ad Campaign with Former State Attorney General

On Tuesday, the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana held a press conference to announce the launch of an ad campaign featuring former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana.

Cheney served as Vermont attorney general from 1973 to 1975. Previously, he served as an assistant attorney general and was elected Washington County states attorney. He has held a variety of other civic positions and is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

The ads can…

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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 Asks Legislature to End Prohibition

Yesterday, in his state of the state address, Gov. Peter Shumlin asked the Vermont Legislature to develop and pass a marijuana regulation bill in the 2016 session. “I will work with you,” he told legislators, “to craft the right bill that thoughtfully and carefully eliminates the era of prohibition that is currently failing us so miserably.”

Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin
Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin

This is great news, but passage of a marijuana regulation bill is far from being a done deal in Montpelier. Senate committees will…

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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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