Vermont AG: Take more time on marijuana bill

Gov. Phil Scott said he's sending the marijuana legalization bill, S.22, back to lawmakers with suggestions. He says the bill doesn't do enough to protect children, among other concerns.

Vermont's attorney general is worried that a legal marijuana bill could be rushed through the Legislature during a special veto session.

T.J. Donovan believes some form of marijuana legalization is inevitable — but he says lawmakers should focus on the state budget when they return to Montpelier on June 21-22.


Vermont marijuana veto: What's next

Gov. Phil Scott's veto has thrown the legal marijuana bill back to the Legislature, setting up more work for the summer and fall.

"We can all work together on this issue in a thoughtful and responsible way," Scott said Wednesday, suggesting that there is still a "path forward" for legalization.

Given the complexities of legislative procedure, however, that path could be more like a maze. Among the possibilities:

1. Game over

The bill could land with a splat, leaving lawmakers with the option of reviving their marijuana legalization efforts in 2018.

2. Move forward anyway

Lawmakers could override the governor's veto — which would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers.


Vermont Gov. Scott Vetoes Marijuana Legalization Bill

The myopic Vermont governor actually blocked the United States first legalization law passed by a state legislature. In a stunning example of how disengaged he is with the citizens he represents, Phil Scott vetoed the historic bill.

“As you might imagine, I have received a great deal of advice on this issue, and have taken the time to fully understand what this legislation proposes to do,” Scott said in a press conference on Wednesday. “I carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages of this proposal in order to arrive at my decision.”


Vermont's DIY Approach on Marijuana

Vermont is on the verge of becoming the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but, being Vermont, it is taking an earthier, grow-it-yourself approach — one that could become a model for others.


The Countdown for Cannabis Legalization in Vermont has Begun

If no action is taken by Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott before Wednesday, the state will become the first to legalize cannabis through the legislative process, and not a ballot initiative.

The legislation has already been approved by both chambers of the state legislature and the governor has only a few more days to decide whether to sign or to veto it.

Although Governor Scott has not been an advocate for the cannabis industry because he is still not sure it is healthy, Scott has certainly become more favorable on cannabis. Earlier this month, after both houses approved the legislation, Governor Scott’s spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley released the following statement:


Vermont: Gov. Scott on marijuana: 'I have to do what I think is right'

Gov. Phil Scott has yet to decide whether he will sign a marijuana legalization bill that passed the Vermont Legislature this month.

The first-term Republican can choose to sign the bill, veto the bill, or allow it to become law without his signature.

"I'm not philosophically opposed to it," Scott said, adding that he wants any legal marijuana system to address highway safety and protecting children from edible marijuana products. "I'm not sure that the time is right now."

Scott's office has been flooded with calls and notes on the marijuana issue, including identical letters in support of the bill. Scott said they have not swayed his opinion. 


Vermont awaits governor's decision on legalizing pot

States in the Northeast have been undergoing marijuana reform recently with ME and MA legalizing the plant for recreational use last November and states like Rhode Island in talks to legalize it through legislature.

The state Senate on Thursday passed an amended version of a House bill eliminating criminal penalties for possession of three-quarters of an ounce or less.


Vermont Legislature 1st in US to vote to legalize marijuana

Vermont's Legislature on Wednesday became the first in the country to vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The legislation, which passed the House by a 79-66 vote, would allow adults to possess and use small amounts of the drug beginning next year. The bill was identical to one passed last week by the Senate that also sets up a commission to study the best way to regulate marijuana.

The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Phil Scott, whose spokeswoman said he's not philosophically opposed to legalizing marijuana but must be sure the bill answers certain public safety and health questions.

"He'll review the bill when received to determine if those questions are addressed," spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley said after the vote.


Legal Pot States Expanding? Vermont House Approves Recreational Marijuana Bill

Adults in Vermont are one step closer toward being able to consume marijuana without worrying about going to jail after the House passed a measure this week aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis. Although only by a slim margin, the bill was approved with a 71 to 74 vote Tuesday.


Vermont House approves marijuana legalization bill

The Vermont House has given final approval to its version of a recreational marijuana legalization bill.


The measure passed by a vote of 75 to 71, following hours of debate.

The bill would make it legal for adults age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow two mature plants at home.

The limited measure does not create any new regulatory system for legally selling and taxing pot, nor does it fund new public safety or youth education efforts. 

Critics, including Rep. George Till -- a Jericho Democrat and a physician -- said that spells trouble.


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