Vermont’s Marijuana Legalization Dreams Go up in Smoke

Efforts at legalizing recreational marijuana use and cultivation in Vermont went up in smoke Tuesday as the House defeated proposals put forth by Democratic and Progressive lawmakers.

In a marathon session that began in the morning and lasted until nearly 6 p.m., House members considered a range of proposals for legalizing and decriminalizing pot.

Starting with the Senate-approved S.241, a bill that devised a regulatory structure to grow and sell pot in retail outlets beginning in January 2018, the House voted 121-28 to strike that language from an unrelated criminal procedures bill and replace it with a compromise amendment to decriminalize cultivation of two cannabis plants for personal use.

State Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, in one of many discourses offered throughout the afternoon, railed against House members’ opposition to the Senate commercialization scheme.

“Prohibition fails because we have $150 million worth of economic activity related to cannabis every year in Vermont,” Pearson said. “It fails because use, frankly,...

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