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Vermont Moving Closer to Legalization of Marijuana
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Summary: The state of Vermont is moving closer to legalizing marijuana with the creation of Senate Bill 95 by David Zuckerman.

A new bill was submitted on Tuesday that could make Vermont the first state to legalize recreational marijuana via the state’s legislature, according to The Huffington Post.


The legislation, which is Senate Bill 95, would legalize the use, possession and sale of the drug in Vermont for people 21 and older.

No more than one ounce of marijuana can be possessed by adults in Vermont. The law would also allow for no more than nine plants, two mature and seven immature, for personal use. Any personal cultivation must be kept indoor in a secured area.

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Non-residents of Vermont would be allowed to purchase no more than one-quarter of an ounce from a licensed shop.

The law would also have an excise tax of $40 per ounce of marijuana flower, $25 for each immature cannabis plant sold by a cultivator and $15 per ounce of any other type of marijuana product.

Of the revenue acquired by the state from taxing marijuana 40 percent would go to public education programs about using drugs, substance abuse treatment services, academic and medical research of marijuana and law enforcement.

It would still be illegal to smoke the drug in public and a Marijuana Control Board would be created to enforce regulations.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator David Zuckerman, said, “One can experiment with alcohol, as many do, and use marijuana, as many do, and turn out to be a positive and productive member of our society. Certainly, I’ve not hidden the fact that I recreationally used while I was in college, and yet I turned out to be a productive business person.”

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Medical marijuana has been legal in the state for more than ten years now, which is what Zuckerman said helped the dialogue with this legislation.

Governor Peter Shumlin will likely sign the legislation into law if it passes all the required votes. In January, Shumlin said the following:

“My bias on legalization is toward legalization. Let’s remember, we have this conversation and we pretend that you can’t get marijuana now. In the real world, folks, if you want to get marijuana in Vermont, we’re in Lala Land if we’re pretending you can’t. The question is how do we move to a smarter approach that doesn’t promote addiction, that doesn’t promote abuse and really accepts the reality.”

To read more about Vermont, click here.

Matt Simon, the New England political director for reform group Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Vermont legislators have a great opportunity to show leadership by passing a marijuana regulation bill in 2015, and they should seize it. Most Vermonters understand that marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol, and they know it makes no sense to punish adults who choose to use the safer substance.”

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Source: Huffington Post


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