“Live Free or Die Hard.” That’s the Vermont State motto and the state is taking it to heart right now in regards to cannabis. Residents of Vermont may become the first state to pass a recreational marijuana bill via their own state legislature. This measure would legalize possession of up to one ounce, growing your own plants, and sale of all marijuana, according to an article in the Huffington Post. The proposal is good news for New England patients and potheads, not only in the increased accessibility it spells for Vermont, but also because some of the taxes for the sale of marijuana will go toward other drug-related causes such as medical research for marijuana, and drug abuse education and treatment.
The bill does not allow marijuana to be smoked in public, but hopefully Vermonters can still puff their pipe on their porch while they whittle and sample their fresh-tapped maple syrup.
Three states already have recreational marijuana legalized for sale and possession, with D.C. only allowing possession. These four provinces got the law passed via ballot measures during elections, while Vermont is pushing it through the legislative process, getting their state representatives to do work for a change.
Medical marijuana has been legalized in Vermont for over a decade, so it’s about time they take the next step of recreational decriminalization.
Last year, more than half of Vermont residents supported the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana. State Senator David Zuckerman says it’s only rational that Vermont joins the other states in viewing marijuana as another substance that should be regulated, not criminalized.
Colorado has really been the guinea pig resulting in the surge of interest in states like Vermont to get recreational marijuana legalized. The numbers are astronomical – there hasn’t been growth quite like the past year in Colorado’s treasury in years. Every state, no matter how conservative or progressive they are, has to be taking notice because of the financial numbers.
If the law passed, it’s likely to be signedinto law the state’s Governor Peter Shumlin (D). And then state residents can go about their stoned antique shopping and log-cutting without fear of criminal persecution.