david zuckerman

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Vermont: House Bill Introduced To Regulate And Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

ChrisPearson(VTHouse)

H. 277 mirrors the Senate bill, introduced last week, to establish a legal market for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

State Rep. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont. Nine co-sponsors have signed on to H. 277, which mirrors S. 95, the Senate bill introduced last week by Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Chittenden).

“There is a lot of support among legislators and the public for ending marijuana prohibition in Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is part of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “It is never too soon to replace a failed, antiquated policy with a more sensible, evidence-based approach.

"If it’s the right thing to do, the right time to do it is now,” Simon said.

H. 277 and S. 95 would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana; grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location; and possess the marijuana yielded from those plants at the same location. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

Vermont: Bill Introduced To Legalize, Regulate, Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

VermontCoalitionToRegulateMarijuana

Sen. David Zuckerman (P-Hinesburg) introduced a bill Tuesday night that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Vermont.

“Marijuana prohibition has worn out its welcome in Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is part of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. “This is an opportunity for state lawmakers to demonstrate leadership on this issue and set an example for other states to follow in coming years.

"It’s not often that legislators have the chance to improve public safety, bolster the economy, and enhance personal liberties all in one piece of legislation,” Simon said.

The bill, S. 95, would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. They could grow up to two flowering marijuana plants and seven non-flowering plants in a secure indoor location, and they would also be allowed to possess the marijuana grown from those plants at the same location.

It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

The Department of Public Safety would be directed to license and regulate marijuana retail stores, lounges, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing laboratories. Localities would have the ability to regulate or prohibit marijuana businesses within their borders.

Vermont: Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced In Legislature

VermontSenatorDavidZuckerman

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Vermont State Senator David Zuckerman has introduced a bill to legalize, tax and regulate the production, sale and recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Zuckerman himself doesn't expect the bill to pass this year, reports Morgan True at VT Digger. "I think this is a building year, more than a likely passage year," he said.

Last year the Vermont Legislature decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis. The bill, which took effect in July, replaced criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket, for up to one ounce.

While Gov. Peter Shumlin has said marijuana legalization is "not a priority" this year, he is "closely watching" the regulation and taxation of cannabis in Colorado and Washington, according to spokesman Scott Coriell.

Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project said MPP will spend 2014 trying to build a consensus about the path to legalization.

"We want to pass (tax-and-regulate) in 2015, and I don't see any reason why Vermont wouldn't be one of the first states to do this through the Legislature," Simon said.

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