Jan 292016
 January 29, 2016

vermont marijuana decriminalizationThe Vermont Senate Committee on Judiciary approved a bill (4-1) on Friday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate marijuana for adult use.

S. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would also create a study commission to examine issues such as edible marijuana products and home cultivation, which would not be allowed under the bill. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana. If approved, the new law would not take effect until January 2018.

Earlier this week, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Sears announced they would support a bill that “cautiously and deliberately” ends marijuana prohibition in Vermont.

A strong majority of Vermonters (56%) support regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use, according to a statewide survey conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute in September.

Statement from Matt Simon, the Marijuana Policy Project’s Montpelier-based New England political director, on behalf of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana:

“Vermont lawmakers are really demonstrating leadership on this issue. They carefully reviewed the evidence and weighed all the options, and they’re now moving forward in a very deliberate fashion. This is a significant and much-needed policy change, so they want to get it right.

“Most Vermonters agree it is time to end prohibition and start regulating marijuana. It’s a product that many adults enjoy for the same reasons that many adults enjoy consuming alcohol. While no substance is entirely harmless, the evidence is pretty clear that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Adults who choose to consume marijuana should be able to purchase it legally and safely from licensed stores that test and label their products. They shouldn’t be forced to seek it out in an illegal market where they might be exposed to other more harmful substances.”

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The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a broad coalition of citizens, organizations, and businesses working to end marijuana prohibition in Vermont and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateVermont.org.

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
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  • michael_ellis

    Overly cautious, but better than prohibition. Go VT!

  • saynotohypocrisy

    Not take effect until 2018? Well that sucks, plenty of people will die as they lived, third class citizens, before then. Nice temporary reprieve for undocumented sellers though.

  • Jude

    Seriously? I’ll never support a monopoly system. I’ll just keep dealing with the black market as colleagues I’ve talked to will. Not even homegrown, what a waste of my tax dollars to debate it🙄

    • Closet Warrior

      Fuck the black market it’s not that hard to grow your own

      • Jude

        It’s not, but being treated the way it is and having 2 boys at home I can’t risk growing for myself.

        • Closet Warrior

          Totally understandable but you can always throw a few here and a few there on a nature hike and as long as it’s done organically as to not poison mother nature and it was on a friend’s land or state property then all could be remedied.

  • Sean Joyce

    A step forward right into a warm pile of dogshit. The citizens of Vermont get nothing from this. When they took away the homegrow option, out went any concern for liberty. Vermonters should model their program after Maine but unfortunately Vermonters don’t get that kind of say in their government.

    • Closet Warrior

      I agree about the non grow clause -what about medical patients who want an alternative medicine and can’t afford commercial pricing? The only thing that will benefit the smokers is that they won’t be thrown in prison or have a lasting felony record if they consume responsibly.

      • Sean Joyce

        I don’t think that was necessarily happening in Vermont anyways considering the finacially broke nature of Montpelier. Vermont citizens are severely overburdened with high price everything from food to gas to property taxes and this is just another burden. Most of the cannabis in Vermont now is probably grown in the borders of its state so who does it really help? Testing is good, normalization is good……being straddled by an inept gov running the only show in town, not so awesome.

        • Closet Warrior

          TRUE!!!

    • myconaut

      If you don’t like it then write to your elected representatives to add a home grow amendment to the legislation. Use the democratic process to your advantage. But opposing something because it doesn’t meet 100% of your demands is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. But if you like being treated as a criminal better than having a legal option, then don’t whine if you get busted.

      • Sean Joyce

        I voted with a uhaul.

  • Francis Janik

    I am Fran Janik of Vermont Home Grown. We are continuing to work to save this bill S-241 that was gutted by Dick Sears the Senator from Bennington Vermont. If you live in Vermont please speak up now or forever hold your bong.

  • Dylan Thomas

    now you cant cultivate? what if you cant afford your medicine? growing is the main part of this bill i feel like. you dont get in trouble for posseing marijuana. here in ny they will give u a slap on the wrist for having 2 plus ounces. i get caught growing in my house last year and get put in jail for 6 months. its ass backwords. i could care less about edibles. for me cultivation is the prime aspect for me. i would not be purchasing weed from a shop that charges double the price. just my opinion

    • myconaut

      How about lobbying your elected representatives to include a home grow provision as an amendment? The final bill has not yet been drafted. Amendments are still possible. So pressure your legislators to include the provisions you want.

      • Closet Warrior

        You can only write, call , hope, and wish so much from these high-horse government types! I do agree in the idea of our democratic political process, however, you can oly “pressure” legislators so much before you become a nuisance then threat to their agendas. If your state legislators and attorney general are corrupt it is up to you the voter to break these unethical laws as a citizen to do the right thing. Thomas Jefferson said that, not in those exact words but in that context.

    • Closet Warrior

      Right on, that’s what I been screaming for decades. They didn’t get their tax money so now you’re a criminal, such bullshit!!! Grow for fun, grow to save money and lives, grow because you can grow. I grow because I will not let a corrupt government, whose very own capital state is legal because these politicians smoke too, tell me what I can’t do. I create my own freedoms!!!

  • AntiIgnorant

    Legalize Worldwide!