Senate Follows Public and Passes Legalization Bill
Today the Senate passed H.511, a bill legalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis for Vermonters over the age of 21. This follows growing public support and more than 17 years of work in the Vermont legislature.
“I supported and have proudly worked with Vermonters and legislators as we have moved from recognizing the medical opportunities and need for access to medical use of marijuana, to decriminalization, and now to legalization,” said Lt. Governor Zuckerman. “Over many years Vermonters have talked to me about the failures of prohibition, need to reduce youth access, and the economic opportunities cannabis could bring. Today, Vermont is one step closer to a full tax and regulate system which will bring us the needed resources to support education, youth prevention, addiction treatment, and public safety.”
For years, legislators have been thoughtfully studying and moving toward reform. In 2001, the Vermont House passed a bill establishing a framework for possession and cultivation for medicinal use. In 2004, Vermont became the ninth state, and the first to achieve this legislatively, to approve medical use of marijuana. Since then numerous bill have expanded and improved accessibility for medical users. In 2015, then Senator Zuckerman introduced the first tax and regulate bill.
“I am happy to see the legislature is catching-up with Vermonters on this issue,” Zuckerman stated, “and I look forward to continuing to bring Vermonters into the process as we move toward complete reform with a tax and regulate system.”