Vermont kills bill to tax and regulate recreational marijuana

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Many elected officials say it will be resurrected.

A bill to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Vermont has died, but some legislators believe it’s just a temporary roadblock.

According to Vermont Public Radio, even though elected officials like Winooski Rep. Diana Gonzalez, who said she was optimistic that a tri-partisan coalition of lawmakers had the votes needed to pass the measure, an overwhelming majority of the House voted to kill the legislation on Friday, with a vote of 106-28.

“I believe that with the remaining time we have left this session, we need to use it on the remaining priorities that we have,” said House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who was in support of the measure, said it’s only a matter of time before commercial cannabis becomes a reality in Vermont, adding, “This vote does not reflect the sentiment of the people, and when the sentiment of the people is reflected in this body, it will move forward.”

Vermont Public Radio says Friday’s fizzle of the bill “doesn’t necessarily signal lack of majority support for the measure in the House” and that “many Democrats,” like Burlington Rep. Jean O’Sullivan, said they voted reluctantly against it.

“We should tax and regulate as soon as possible. However, we don’t have the time left in this session to build the consensus we would need to override the inevitable veto from the governor.”

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