Vermont Governor on Marijuana Legalization: It‚Äôs What ‚ÄėEnlightened States‚Äô Do

The state may soon be the first to legalize recreational weed by law.

In the next few weeks, as Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin nears the end of his time in office, his state could make history. If he has his way, Vermont will become the first state in the union to legalize marijuana through its legislature. The four states that have already legalized recreational pot‚ÄĒColorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska‚ÄĒall did so by taking the issue to voters through ballot initiatives. The Vermont Senate passed a marijuana legalization bill in February and it is currently being debated in the House.


How Vermont could change the marijuana legalization game

Over the past four years, marijuana legalization has come to the United States at a relatively fast pace, thanks to overwhelming support for it among young adults. But up until now, change has mostly come from the voters -- sometimes in spite of lawmakers' wishes.

That balance could be shifting toward legislators, at least in one state: Vermont. In the next few weeks, Vermont could become the first state legislature to legalize marijuana. At Gov. Peter Shumlin's (D) urging, a bill to make Vermont the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana passed the state Senate in February and is currently being debated in the state House.


Vermont Governor Says Marijuana Edibles Make for 'Bad Pot Bill' in Mass.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin wants to legalize marijuana in the Green Mountain State before Massachusetts because he does not want the Bay State‚Äôs ‚Äúbad pot bill‚ÄĚ to negatively influence his state.

Shumlin expressed his views in a blog post entitled The Time is Now to Take a Smarter Approach to Marijuana on his official website.

Shumlin is criticizing the Massachusetts ballot initiative that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana because it includes marijuana edibles. Marijuana-laced items can include food such as gummy bears and brownies.  The bill Shumlin supports in Vermont would ban edibles.


The 10 Most Marijuana-Friendly States in the USA

Does your state make the list?

Which are the marijuana-friendliest states in the nation? Where would a pot person want to buy a home and settle down?

The online national real estate search site¬†Estately¬†has taken a crack at answering those burning questions. The site's blog's¬†Ultimate Lists¬†cranks out all sorts of creative comparative data‚ÄĒcities with the most romantic homes for sale, states with the most pizza‚ÄĒand now it's done the same with¬†weed.¬†


Vermont Marijuana Legalization 2016: Bernie Sanders' State Legislature May Make Weed Legal

Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders' home state of Vermont may become the first state to use legislation to legalize marijuana recreationally without voter initiative if state legislators pass the bill, according to Reuters. In February, the state Senate passed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana for those over 21 years old starting in 2018, but also ban people from growing plants and selling edibles.

The creation of the bill follows a year of convincing hearings in the Senate about marijuana, and its decision needs to be made before May, Reuters reported. However, having marijuana legalization in the hands of lawmakers would expedite the process, compared to voters'.


How Cannabis-Friendly Is Your State?

Ever wonder how your state stands up to the others in terms of marijuana tolerance? We don't mean how much your state can smoke, but how tolerant the locals are toward cannabis. The real-estate website Estately has the answer. 

Using specialized metrics, they put together rankings for all 50 states in their "Marijuana Enthusiasm Index." The criteria are: the percentage of monthly marijuana users, the average price of cannabis, the average number of marijuana-related Google searches, the legal status of marijuana and expressions of public interest (based on Facebook user data). 

Here are five interesting findings.


Getting painkillers seems easy. Getting help to fight painkiller addiction is hard.

BURLINGTON, Vt. ‚ÄĒ¬†Addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has grown so deadly that the Obama administration wants to spend more than $1 billion over the next two years fighting it. Nearly all of the money would go to making anti-addiction medications, including buprenorphine, more available.

Yet in the midst of the worst epidemic of unintentional drug overdose in U.S. history ‚ÄĒ mortality rates are four to fives times as high as in the mid-1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‚ÄĒ it can be harder to get drugs to treat an addiction than it is to get the drugs that feed it.


Vermont Legislature on Track to Be First in U.S. To Legalize Marijuana

Liberal-leaning Vermont could become the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use through legislation, rather than by voter initiative, in a move that advocates for the drug say could speed its acceptance across the nation.

State representatives this month are set to take up a bill passed by the state Senate in February that would allow adults over 21 to purchase and smoke the drug beginning in 2018.

The move follows a year of hearings in the Senate that lawmakers say allowed them to closely consider appropriate limits to place on the drug's use. The current proposal would prohibit users from growing plants at home and ban the sale of edible products containing marijuana extracts.


Steamboat-Based Marijuana Education Initiative Gains Traction

Steamboat Springs ‚ÄĒ A unique marijuana education curriculum created and piloted in Steamboat Springs through the past year is gaining the attention of schools across the country.

The Marijuana Education Initiative offers four types of school curriculum to address prevention of marijuana use, intervention for self-identified habitual users, alternative to suspension and athlete awareness.

The initiative acknowledges that marijuana is a legal recreational and medicinal substance that many adults are using and no longer an illegal drug that should be lumped together with opiates, methamphetamine and other drugs during health class.


Marijuana, Fantasy Sports Among Topics on Tap in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, Vt.¬†‚ÄĒ 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 ‚Äúcrossover‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs usually a sign that the end of the legislative session is less than eight weeks away.


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