Maine and Vermont block legal adult-use cannabis sales yet again

Gov. Paul LePage vetoed Maine's cannabis regulations for a second time, while the Vermont House tabled a bill to create a taxed market for marijuana.


Vermont lawmakers push to expand marijuana legalization

A surprise twist in the Statehouse Thursday afternoon has the issue of marijuana legalization suddenly on the front burner in Montpelier again.

A tri-partisan coalition of House lawmakers is now pushing for legislation that would create an above-board market for commercial cannabis sales.

Earlier this year, lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott passed a law that will, starting July 1, legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and the cultivation of up to two mature cannabis plants. The law retains criminal penalties for large-scale cultivation and sales of the drug. 


Protection sought for medical marijuana users in Vermont who need an organ transplant

At the University of Vermont Medical Center, the only hospital in the state where kidney transplants are performed, potential recipients undergo a rigorous screening to get a shot at the life-changing operation. Among the factors that Dr. Carlos Marroquin, the chief of transplant surgery, considers is whether a patient uses marijuana, including medical cannabis.

"Because of the risks of infections, the unknown risk of cancer, because of the unknown effects on blood vessels, we try to select out for a healthy lifestyle, and so we strongly encourage patients against smoking marijuana," Marroquin said. "I think it's a risk."


Vermont considers a measure to regulate cannabis smell

When Vermont Governor Phil Scott (Rep.) signed House Bill 511 to legalize recreational cannabis on January 22,  he spoke very clearly about users’ right to privacy. “I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Gov. Scott wrote in a press release after the signing.

But some law enforcement officials are calling for an officious crackdown on the odors wafting under the closed doors of people using or growing cannabis in their own homes. And now with the support of Republican lawmakers in the state, Vermont considers a measure to regulate cannabis smell.


How does Vermont's medical marijuana program spend its money?

Vermont Public Radio recently reported that the state transferred $300,000 from its medical marijuana program into the general fund to help shore up a $30 million budget gap.

That article doesn’t happen without dogged activism and oversight from Vermont residents, especially registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers who brought this information to the media.


Vermont panel looks at saliva test for drugged driving

A second House panel started taking testimony on Wednesday on a bill that would allow for saliva testing to detect the presence of drugs in motorists. Lawmakers heard talk of legal challenges and suggested changes to safeguard the legislation.

“I’m confident it will be hotly litigated,” Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson, a former federal prosecutor and backer of the saliva testing legislation, told members of the House Judiciary Committee.

“With Vermont being on the cusp of legalizing marijuana, it’s an opportune time to be discussing collectively what we can do to improve roadway safety,” he said. “Driving is a privilege, it’s not a right, and the state can legislatively put conditions on that right.”


Washington State and Vermont are working to dismiss low-level Cannabis misdemeanors

Seattle has directed its courts to clear convictions dating back to 1997, while Vermont is considering fast-tracking expungements for offenders throughout the state.

As cannabis legalization spreads across the country, local governments are working to right some of the wrongs of prohibition by retroactively dismissing low-level cannabis offenses.


Vermont: Will you have to give up your guns to legally use marijuana?

In the state of Vermont there are a lot of things people like the freedom to use, including guns and marijuana.

But could these two things combined come with felony charges? For veterans using a medical marijuana card, could it also spell trouble?

Just last year the state of Vermont added post-traumatic stress disorder to the approved list of medical conditions allowed to be treated by marijuana, but it comes with one big catch.

"A vet has to work outside the VA," Rep. James Masland said.

That's because marijuana is still illegal, according the federal government.

"Our biggest worry is the federal government coming in and cross referencing the medical marijuana cards with firearms owners," Eddie Cutler, from Gun Owners of Vermont, said.


January was the biggest month yet for marijuana legalization, despite Trump's new war on pot

California opened the world’s biggest legal pot market, and Vermont’s state legislature became the first to legalize marijuana.

January 2018 was the most important month yet for marijuana legalization.

Things looked rocky a few days into the month, when President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinded an Obama-era memo that protected states that had legalized marijuana from federal interference.

Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the federal government can still crack down on pot even in states where it’s legal under state law for recreational purposes.


The 5 places set to legalize recreational Cannabis in 2018

This year, at least five jurisdictions will be either introducing or implementing legislation to legalise cannabis for recreational purposes.

So far, Uruguay is the only country – and the only jurisdiction outside of North America - to have fully regulated a legal market for recreational cannabis. However, sub-national jurisdictions – namely several US states - have regulated the trade, including California, Colorado, and Alaska. This is despite the drug continuing to be illegal under federal law.


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