Vermont: Marijuana Reforms Unlikely To Pass This Session
By Derrick Stanley
Lawmakers in Vermont's senate have announced that they will not support a marijuana legalization plan being circulated in the House because it “reinforces a black market approach rather than… [a] more streamlined, regulated system,” Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe said in a report on Vermont Public Radio.
The House plan was initially approved by the chamber’s Judiciary Committee but was pulled by House leadership after it became clear it would not pass. The plan would have legalized possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older, and allowed them to grow up to two mature and seven immature plants.
Democratic state Sen. Jeannette White said she “can’t imagine” a scenario in which the Senate would pass the House proposal, adding that the measure “does nothing to decrease the black market.”
“It in fact encourages it, because now you’re going to be able to have a certain amount, or an increased amount, and it will be completely legal,” White said in the report. “There’s no place for you to get it, so it’s going to increase the underground market.”
The report disclosed that last year the Senate passed a measure that would have legalized a taxed and regulated recreational marijuana system in the state. That bill failed in the House, however.
“To be honest, I think people are tired of this conversation going on and on and on. And it’s something that we just need to do,” White said. “We’ve been talking about this forever and people out there are tired of us dragging out feet and not getting anything done.”