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It is official. Vermont is the latest state to sign marijuana legalization into law! Vermont becomes the 9th state to do so and the first state to end prohibition through state legislatures, rather than a ballot initiative. Vermont, despite its liberal leaning, does not allow for ballot initiatives.
Gov. Scott of Vermont had vetoed a similar bill this past May but has kept his word that if a bill made it to his desk again, he would sign it.
"I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children," - Gov. Scott.
The new law will go into effect July 1st, but the current bill is limited as it doesn’t establish a market for production and sale fo the plant. Under the legislation's provisions, people over 21 years of age will be allowed to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow as many as two mature and four immature cannabis plants.
The signing of the bill comes right on the heels of Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Justice Department is rescinding an Obama era policy that allowed states to pursue legal cannabis. Sessions is a long time opponent of legal cannabis and has often compared it to heroin and has even said, “good people don’t smoke marijuana”.
The number of Americans that support cannabis legalization is up to 64%, according to a recent Gallup poll. The motives for Governor Scott to sign this bill could be to keep his seat in this next election year. This, of course, is just speculation, and whatever the motives may be, it does not change the fact that come July 1st, 2018, cannabis in Vermont will officially be legal.