Vermont Recreational Marijuana Set To Legalize through Legislation
Mar 15, 2016 07:31 AM EDT
Vermont's recreational marijuana bill would allow over 21 to buy and smoke the drug starting 2018. If approved by the State Senate, Vermont will be the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through legislation and not through voter's initiative.
Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, and the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana through ballot initiative. After months of hearing in the senate, the lawmakers were able to set proper limits on the drug's use. Vermont's recreational marijuana bill would ban users from growing plants at home. It also prohibits selling of products with marijuana extracts, according to Reuters. As per the law, there will be 25 percent tax on marijuana sales that would fund drug education programs and drug law enforcement.
"It makes for a much more thoughtful and measured approach," said State Senator Jeanette White, a sponsor of the senate bill. "We got to work out the details, we got to ask the questions first and put the whole infrastructure in place before it happens."
In Yahoo report, Vermont recreational marijuana's legalization looks like the bill would have a hard time to be legalized with the state's House of Representatives dominated by the Republicans. Supporters think that legalization would be faster if it would be passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature. Advocates push the approval of the measure before the legislative session ends in May.
"Many of our members are opposed to this proposal and I don't know that it can be changed enough for them to change their minds," said Representative Donald Turner, the House Republican leader. "I don't feel there is a good argument for legalizing it at this point."
Many have expressed their support on Vermont recreational marijuana's legalization. One of the supporters of the bill, Kimberly Cheney, an attorney general, claimed that marijuana should be regulated in a controlled environment to limit the young ones from accessing it. Cheney also said that the bill also ensure safety for the adult consumers, Extract Sun Times reports.
A pro-marijuana group, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana claimed that 56% of Vermont residents agree with Vermont recreational marijuana's legalization. A study conducted by Rand Corp claimed that one in eight residents is already a drug user. Based on the report, people have spent $125 million to $225 million on weed in 2014.