Vermont: With Shumlin's Time Short, Legalization Proponents Look To Move Quickly

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Next year’s legislative session will be the last for Gov. Peter Shumlin, who announced in June that he won’t be seeking reelection in 2016. And some prominent lawmakers are hoping to get a marijuana legalization bill to his desk before he leaves office.

Perhaps no single person has done more to advance the legalization effort in Vermont than Shumlin. The third-term governor came out in support of a tax-and-regulate model back in 2013, and like-minded legislators devoted substantial time to the issue earlier this year.

With Shumlin’s time in office now short, the window for legalization supporters may have shrunk, depending on who succeeds him. Windham Sen. Jeannette White, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, says she aims to have a legalization bill to the governor’s desk before the end of the 2016 legislative session.

“And this committee is very serious about this,” White says.


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