vermont marijuana decriminalization
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Vermont House To Debate Marijuana Legalization Bill On Monday

vermont marijuana decriminalizationThe Vermont Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill earlier this year (S.241). Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin, has expressed a strong desire to see Vermont become the first state to legalize marijuana via legislative action. Polls have shown that Vermont voters support marijuana legalization. So what is the hold up? So far this session, it’s been the Vermont House. It sounds like that is set to change on Monday. Per Vermont Public Radio:

House Speaker Shap Smith says the House will debate a bill legalizing marijuana Monday.

Smith says it’s not clear if any version of the bill will actually win majority support.

“I do think that the current policy is broken and I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to find consensus,” says Smith. “But I think what you would see is that the people in the House who are discussing this and have differing points of views are people of good faith who just haven’t been able to reach a consensus on a really difficult issue.”

I have never been to Vermont, so I’m not familiar with Speaker Smith’s character. I hope that he is telling the truth when he suggests that there is definitely support, and that it’s just a matter of finding consensus. It would be very sad if it’s all just a delay tactic to try to run out the clock on the session. I guess we will have to see how the debate goes on Monday. In the meantime, it’s probably a good time to shoot an e-mail over to your Representative if you live in Vermont so that they walk in to supportive reform messages on Monday morning. You can find their contact info at this link here.

  • GETREAL

    Shap Smith has done his best to block any cannabis reform in the state. With other legislators feeling the pressure from their constituents, he has little choice. The House wanted this bill to die without putting their vote on public record. Their is overwhelming support for legalization in Vermont. Representatives voting their conscience might be looking for another job this fall.

    • familyguy

      This should happen in all states in which legislators do not represent the people in their respective areas. Vote them out.

  • When we started to craft the original draft of S-241 in the Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee, we were listened to and the first draft to come out of that body was a fair bill. The later version which was re-written by Senator Sears was not a good bill. It would have given the market for legal cannabis to just a few, creating a monopoly. Fortunately the House has stopped the Sears version which had passed the Senate. The House members wrote a new bill allowing only home grow and not creating a retail market. This would allow for 2 mature female plants. The license fee would be $125.00 per grow per year. Sharing would be allowed. You could carry up to 1 ounce on you and keep the rest of your harvest at home. This is the way to go. Home Grow or No Go! I agree that we need a vote to see who to re-elect in the fall.

    • familyguy

      I hope Vermonters do get legalization. It is a great way to relax and works miracles on my arthritis pain. go vr.

      • familyguy

        VT. Give the rest of us in the country some hope.

  • Franklin

    They might have a non binding vote on Monday. Shap is saying that the Republicans in the house are going to do anything to block it. He also said he doesn’t want either bill to go to vote because failure to pass might cause people to give up. They have SAM agents working both parties in the state telling them to just take their time.

    The reality is that the Senate bill is so screwed up right now that it won’t produce the revenue that Vermont is counting on. The reds blocked home grow, then edibles, then any public place to smoke. That makes it pretty hard on tourists if they can’t eat or smoke it. We all know the edibles are a huge part of the recreational market. So, that bill really needs to be rolled back to it’s original version.

    The House bill, which Shap says has more of support, is basically i71 from DC scaled down to 2 plants and a license required. No one knows who they negotiated two plants. But the right to home grow is more important to establish than sales in this session.

    The start date for Vermont is still going to be January 1, 2018. It doesn’t matter if the sales plan passes this session or next session after Hillary is elected as president. I also think smoking lounges of some sort just have to be created like cigar bars. The Rand report says the most the revenue would be coming from people in dry states within a few hours of Vermont.

    We also know that Canada to the North is going to introduce legislation next spring, like with the same start date as Vermont. Maine is favored to pass right now with the same start date. Massachusetts appears to be at 57 per cent in support right now with a heavy Reefer Madness campaign. The whole North Atlantic region tends to move politically together and tends to follow Massachusetts with the largest economy. I’m predicting that both New England votes will do well and Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire will follow the same timing.

    • khh

      I wish I could sit down now with a HS friend who told me in 1970 => ‘Canada is set to legalize next year. Marlboro has already designed the packs.’

      Maybe 2017 will be the year his prediction finally happens, eh.

      • Franklin

        Yep. A lot of people thought Carter was going that way in 76. No one was busted for openly smoking for most of the 70s. I knew many people who would say ”they can’t put us all in jail, they don’t have enough prisons” and people would laugh. Not all of us laughed even though it was an honest thing to say at the time. No one imagined that the government would double down on reefer madness and go into debt to build more prisons.

        We came out the Cold War generation. The Soviets were plotting to bomb us every night. Yet we survived with just the evening news and no cable. The drug war was really an extension of the Cold War. Most of us felt like drug testing was terribly invasive and insulting, but the again we had to make sacrifices for the war. According to the media those Soviet and East Germans did little else but plot our destruction. Apparently they hated our freedom.

        So now the Arabs are the new people who are reported to do nothing but hate us, and I’m not saying they aren’t putting forth the effort, but we know they can’t start WW3 like those communists we spent most of our lives fighting. They sure changed quick. Vietnam now has the status of a ”most favored nation” as a trading partner. Still communists. But apparently they don’t hate us anymore.

        Trudeau has a strong mandate Canada and I think they will get it done next year. Legalize is probably the wrong word. They will create a regulated legal market.

        • saynotohypocrisy

          But are they (Canada) going to allow personal use growing? I haven’t heard anything one way or the other.

          • Franklin

            The high court ruled home grow was an essential right for medical needs. There is no indication of what the legislation will look like next Spring. Home grow is still illegal now in Canada but it doesn’t seem to be enforced. Canada doesn’t have the whole police state like the US. There aren’t endless layers of militant like police forces aimed at the citizens.