Vermont Governor Creating Commission for Pot Legalization Issues

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he’s organizing a commission to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana and will announce members in the next few days.

Vermont Public Radio reports retail outlets in Maine and Massachusetts will begin selling legal recreational marijuana in less than a year. The Republican governor says he wants the new commission to help answer questions about the arrival of legalized marijuana in neighboring states, especially concerning highway safety.

Scott says he wants to have more stringent highway safety standards in place before he’ll consider state-sanctioned recreational marijuana sales.

Read more at High Times

Never Trust a Lawmaker with Pot Legalization—Vermont Bags It

A majority of elected officials wanted it. The Republican governor wanted it (at least in theory). Certainly, marijuana legalization is what the citizens of Vermont want.

So what? These are American lawmakers we’re talking about. When marijuana legalization is concerned, no elected body of representatives has yet to enact the will of the people. And so it is that legalization in Vermont is dead until 2018 at the earliest, this time thanks to Republicans in the state House of Representatives, who refused to give a compromise legalization bill a hearing on Wednesday night.

As the Burlington Free Press reported, “nearly all 53 House Republicans” voted to refuse to consider the legalization bill… despite approving the similar bill a few weeks before.

Read more at High Times

Vermont: House Blocks Marijuana Depenalization Bill From Further Consideration

Members of the Vermont House of Representatives decided late last night to block a marijuana depenalization measure, H. 511, from further consideration this legislative session.

The vote came after Senate members approved the bill, which eliminated civil and criminal penalties for the private possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana. Republican Gov. Phil Scott – who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill in May – had also recently expressed his support for the revised legislation.

Further action on the bill during this week’s special veto session required the votes of three-quarters of the House. But only a majority voted to take action on the bill, with almost all Republican House members voting ‘no.’

Read more at NORML

Vermont Legalization Deal Likely This Week

 

Despite a disappointing gubernatorial veto, Vermont’s historic legalization bill could still move forward — this week.

Vermont came within a stroke of Gov. Rick Scott’s pen of becoming the first state to legalize marijuana through the regular old legislative process, rather than put the hard and dirty work to voters.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Radical Rant: SMOF & WATC Kill Vermont Legalization

For years now, I’ve been writing about the only two weapons left in the arsenal of marijuana prohibitionists that have any power at all—SMOF & WATC.

SMOF stands for “Stoned Mayhem On Freeways” and WATC stands for “What About The Children.” Both of those are in full effect in the veto statement of Governor Phil Scott regarding the first legislatively-passed marijuana legalization bill in Vermont.

“This legislation does not adequately answer these questions,” wrote Scott. “We must aggressively punish… usage in the presence of minors.”

Read more at High Times

Veto in Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott Halts Legalization – For Now

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has vetoed what would have been a historical first — a state legalizing cannabis through the legislature and not the ballot.

In the announcement of his veto at a Montpelier press conference today, Gov. Phil Scott attempted to make clear his refusal to sign the bill into law wasn’t because he was an anti-pot guy “philosophically.”

Nevertheless, he takes his place in history as the first U.S. governor to ever veto the full removal of criminal and civil penalties for recreational adult cannabis possession, use and cultivation as passed by his state’s legislature.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Vermont Governor Vetoes Marijuana Bill, Wants Changes Made

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday that he planned to veto a bill making Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana but indicated that he was willing to work with the legislature on a compromise.

Scott said he is sending the bill back with suggestions for another path forward and suggested that changes could be made to the bill in a special session this summer.

“We must get this right,” Scott said. “I think we need to move a little bit slower.”

Read more at High Times

Vermont Governor Phil Scott Vetoes Marijuana Legalization

Republican Gov. Phil Scott today rejected legislation, Senate Bill 22, that sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the adult use and possession of marijuana. The Governor said that he did not support the legislation as written, but that remains open to working with lawmakers over the summer on ways to amend the state’s cannabis policies.

Representatives from the Vermont Association of Police Chiefs, the Vermont Medical Society, and the Vermont American Academy of Pediatrics were among those groups opposing S. 22.

“It is disappointing that Gov. Scott would not only defy the will of of state legislators, but also the will of the majority of Vermont voters who support ending criminal penalties for those adults who consume cannabis responsibly,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “Minor marijuana possession offenders should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it. Rather than looking to the future, Gov. Scott seems intent on repeating the failures of the past.”

Read more at NORML

Radical Rant: Curing Vermont Governor’s Fear of Stoned Drivers

An open letter to Vermont Gov. Phil Scott:

Dear Gov. Scott,

On your desk is a bill passed by Vermont’s legislature, which has become the first in the nation to pass marijuana legalization without a citizen’s initiative. This would make Vermont the ninth state in the nation to end adult cannabis prohibition. You’ve stated that you’re not ideologically opposed to marijuana legalization.

Read more at High Times