The bill would allow adults over 21 to possess of up to one ounce of marijuana and have two mature marijuana plants or four immature plants.
Law enforcement groups in Vermont have criticized the legalization drive, saying the drug poses health risks and that there is no way to quickly test drivers who might be intoxicated by cannabis.
Today Vermont's Legislature officially sent a marijuana legalization bill to the Governor's desk, and the Governor has stated that he will sign it. If/when that happens, Vermont will become the 9th state to legalize marijuana, but Vermont's version of legalization will be unique in two ways.
Last spring, the Legislature passed a similar bill, but Scott vetoed it because the Republican thought it didn't do enough to protect children from marijuana and enhance highway safety. Now that the Senate has passed the bill and Gov. Scott is expected to sign it into law, it is beginning to look like Vermont will be the first state to legalize recreational cannabis through the legislature, which is a monumental accomplishment. Vermont and 22 other states do not have a ballot initiative process.
Five of the first states to legalize the drug - Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada - together generated more than $485 million in tax revenue off cannabis sales in the first nine months of 2017, according to an analysis by the Marijuana Policy Project.
The state Senate approved the legislation Wednesday by voice vote.
The Vermont Senate just approved a measure allowing the possession and recreational consumption of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Despite vetoing a similar effort past year, Governor Smith has stated he would likely sign this renewed effort. In Michigan, signatures have been submitted for a November 2018 ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults.
"This is a big step forward for Vermont", said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.