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Vermont State House Passes Marijuana Legalization

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director January 5, 2018

    Legalize marijuanaMontpelier, Vermont: Just hours after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines instructing US attorneys to take a ‘hands off’ approach in states with legal marijuana regulations, lawmakers in the Vermont House voted to legalize the personal possession and home cultivation of marijuana by a vote of 81 to 63. The measure now goes back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before going to the Governor, who has indicated that he will sign the bill into law.

    Passage of legalization in Vermont in 2018 would be a legislative first. To date, all eight states that have enacted adult use regulatory laws, as well as the District of Columbia have done so by a direct vote of the people.

    The progress in Vermont is groundbreaking. Should the Green Mountain State’s leadership move forward as promised, it will mark a huge turning point in the national movement to end the criminalization of marijuana. 

    One in five Americans resides in a jurisdiction where the adult use of cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens reside someplace where the medical use of cannabis is legally authorized. As is evidenced by Vermont lawmakers’ actions, it is clear that the Trump administration is not going to be able to cease this momentum in favor of the enactment of rational marijuana policies.

    The political courage of Vermont’s lawmakers to break with nearly a century of legislative stagnation should be interpreted as a siren call in the halls of the state legislatures nationwide as well as the U.S. Capitol.

    You can follow the progress of the legislation on our Vermont Action Alert by clicking here.

    10 responses to “Vermont State House Passes Marijuana Legalization”

    1. Julian says:

      The political timing of Vermont’s legislative legalization is epic. In less than two weeks, around the time the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is set to expire, Vermont will be the first state to fully legalize recreational and medical marijuana legislatively. A Republican Governor is ready to sign.

      Full legalization from a state legislature is the pivitol game changer in so many pending and possible court decisions. How will the 5th amendment which protects us from self incrimination play out if a Federal Judge has to review a Vermont mmj patient (or really, any mj customer in the U.S.) who had their dispensary shut down and now only has to turn to the black market?

      Also, Vermont legalization kills the supremacy clause. I’ve been refering religiously to the Barbuto v. Sales & Marketing case in Mass. throwing out the supremacy clause to protect an mmj patient’s employment rights. But with what’s happening in Vermont the entire Constitutionality of marijuana’s federal scheduling and prohibition come into question… all while Sessions is desperately trying to get just such an open case dismissed with the ongoing Washington v. Sessions.

      We are in the endgame of a 4 dimensional game of speed chess… the 4th dimension being time, which has always been on our side. But now time is revealing itself to be our most formidable weapon because the clock is ticking and running out for Sessions, Patrick Kennedy, Kevin Sabet and all their Big Pharma, private prison doners. This is an election year, and being “tough on crime” means legalizing marijuana now.

    2. Matt says:

      Great news, make it happen this time.

    3. Matt says:

      More states need to come onboard. Another concern is that Sessions pre-positioned U.S. Attornies to crack down, like in MI.

    4. Matt says:

      And more states will set an example for Sessions that the People are speaking. He knows he has to hurry. There will probably be some raids and damage done, hope not, but the movement will prevail. We just need to come back stronger than ever!

    5. Captain Greenhat says:

      This is making people get involved as well. I have known since I was 7 or 8 that prohibition would eventually end. I’m really good at seeing the connections in things but all that being said, I’ve never been involved politically, figuring everything would sort itself out. Unfortunately between net neutrality and this crap I simply can’t be silent anymore. America has been completely sold out and the issue of individual/states rights vs federal growth and encroachment is one of the biggest issues America has faced. Absolutely more dangerous to us than “rocket man”. The cannabis industry has built the needed momentum not it’s up to everyone to get involved for that final push.

      Sessions has absolutely given us the keys to decriminalization we just have to unlock and open that door. Prohibition is but a small grain of sand in the overall history of cannabis so there is no need to worry, just get pissed and take massive action.

    6. Simon Green says:

      We are hoping that marijuana will be legalized as soon as possible.

    7. M.J. says:

      What a moment, we have waited for this day for many decades…and to think lawmakers did it proactively!!

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