Vermont House Panel Backs Scaled-Back Marijuana Bill

A marijuana bill remains alive in the legislature after the House Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 Friday for a significantly scaled-back version.

The vote came after the committee narrowly rejected a proposal to table the legislation entirely.

The bill that passed the committee does not legalize marijuana, as the Senate voted to do, but would establish a study commission to prepare for eventual legalization, said Judiciary Committee vice chair Willem Jewett (D-Ripton).

Committee members who voted for the bill were: chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Jewett, Barbara Rachelson (D-Burlington), Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington), Chip Conquest (D-Wells River) and Bill Frank (D-Underhill).

Those voting against were: Betty Nuovo (D-Middlebury) and Tom Burditt (R-West Rutland), Gary Viens (R-Newport), Vicki Strong (R-Irasburg) and Marcia Martel (R-Waterford).

The bill, a complete revision of the Senate’s S.241, is expected to go next to the House Ways & Means and Appropriations committee.

It’s unclear whether the measure will...

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