Marijuana, Fantasy Sports Among Topics on Tap in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont lawmakers returning for the last quarter of their two-year legislative term face decisions on whether to legalize marijuana and online fantasy sports, as well as a push to give local residents more say in siting renewable energy projects.

Friday is the annual “crossover” deadline, when bills other than taxing and spending measures are expected to have cleared the committee process and be ready for debate on the floor of the House or Senate. That’s usually a sign that the end of the legislative session is less than eight weeks away.


Robert Reich: “Baloney” that Hillary Clinton is Nominee After Super Tuesday

Robert Reich Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary made political waves by endorsing Bernie Sanders last week, despite deep ties with the Clinton family, which even includes a date with the future Democratic front-runner during college.


‘Just Add Weed’: How Brand Licensing Allows Cannabis Companies to Expand Across State Lines

Federal cannabis prohibition is a buzzkill on many levels, but for cannabusinesses in legal states, it’s an especially frustrating hurdle to expansion. When a brand outgrows its home turf, it can’t just start shipping packages of product to the next state over. 

Despite the difficulty, a number of companies have managed to cross state lines. Colorado’s Dixie Elixirs has products in Washington, California, and Oregon. They recently launched in Nevada, and Chief Marketing Officer Joe Hodas says the brand is close to inking a deal in Arizona. 


What Does Super Tuesday Mean for Cannabis Legislation?

The biggest day of the primaries is upon us, with more delegates up for grabs on March 1 than any other time in the race. While marijuana reform is not a priority for most primary voters, the candidates' positions on cannabis could have an impact on how voters perceive them – especially in states where marijuana policy is being discussed. 

Only two out of 22 Super Tuesday races are happening in a state or territory where cannabis is completely illegal. Most states have some form of medical marijuana in the books – even if it's just provisions for non-psychoactive CBD oil. Then there are the cannabis-friendly states of Colorado, which is having Democratic and Republican caucuses, and Alaska, where Republicans will be caucusing. 


Vermont could become the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature

Vermont may soon make history: Its legislature could be the very first in the country to legalize marijuana.

On Thursday, the Vermont Senate passed a pot legalization bill. It now moves to the House, which will need to approve it before it ends up on the governor's desk. But Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he supports the bill.


Vermont Senate approves bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Gov. Shumlin applauds action, urges House to follow suit.

In a tight vote Wednesday afternoon, Vermont state senators approved a measure to legalize recreational marijuana.

The 16-13 preliminary vote means the measure will be up for final approval in the Senate Thursday afternoon.

Sen. John Campbell, the president pro tem, voted no. He said the bill sends a terrible message to Vermont children.

Sen. Peg Flory, a Rutland Republican, joined in the opposition. "We need to remember we may say it's legal in Vermont but it’s still violating federal law."

But supporters said they had learned from the advice of officials in Colorado and Washington, devising a controlled system to allow the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults 21 and older.


Vermont Senate approves marijuana legalization 16-13

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults in the state.

The measure was approved Wednesday by a vote of 16-13. A final vote on the measure is expected Thursday.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill on a 4-3 vote on Monday after it had previously won approval in the Judiciary and Finance committees.

In a statement issued after the vote, Gov. Peter Shumlin called it "a big moment for Vermont."

He says 80,000 Vermonters admit to using marijuana on a monthly basis and it's clear the current system is broken.

The bill will now be considered by the House.


Debate underway over legalized marijuana in Vermont

There's a push underway in Vermont to legalize recreational marijuana. Lawmakers there are looking at how the state would regulate it and tax it. That legislation has already passed through a number of different Vermont State Senate Committees as advocates push it toward a vote. But some law enforcement officials say, it's not a good idea.

This month, the Senate's version of this legislation moved through the Senate Judiciary and Finance Committees. It was scheduled to be in the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.

"Vermont has a prohibition on marijuana that has not been a successful policy," said Matt Simon, New England Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a group pushing for this legislation.


Drugs America's Marijuana Legalization Hotbed Ain't on the West Coast, It's in ... New England?

No state east of the Mississippi has legalized marijuana, but the land of Yankees has several states that could free the weed this year.

No state east of the Mississippi has legalized marijuana, but that's very likely to change this year, and New England will be leading the way. Two of the six New England states will likely let the voters make the call in November, while the others all have legalization bills pending.

So far, with the exception of Washington, DC, where voters elected to legalize the possession and cultivation, but not the sale of marijuana in 2014, all of the legalization action has been in the West. The four states that have legalized it so far—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—are all Western states.


Vermont Police No Longer Training K9s to Detect Marijuana

A report from the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus revealed that Vermont’s police force has stopped training its police dogs to detect the odor of marijuana.

According to the Times Argus, this is the first year that marijuana detection has not been part of the regular training of the state’s police dogs. The paper reported that the decision was partially influenced by the likelihood that Vermont will legalize marijuana in the near future, which would lead to the possibility that re-training police dogs to cease detecting marijuana would exhaust additional time and resources.


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