Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Health Care | By Jan Bell

Vermont governor won't sign marijuana bill, sends it back

Vermont governor won't sign marijuana bill, sends it back

The governor had previously said he did not consider marijuana legalization a priority and had concerns about the lack of a roadside test to detect driver impairment.

Scott said that after reviewing the bill, he chose to send it back to the Legislature because he feels it does not sufficiently address his concerns about driving safety, youth access and more. The veto session is scheduled to last only two days. We won't fault anyone for wanting to take their time and do this right, but while we await the "Perfect Pot Bill" we're still living with a failed prohibition system. He wants it to include representatives from the Vermont departments of Public Safety, Health and Taxes as well as the substance abuse prevention and treatment community.

However, Scott said he is open to adopting the bill if lawmakers revise it, including changing the makeup of a commission that would explore setting up a regulated marijuana market.

"I believe what adults do behind closed doors and on their own personal property, is their choice, so long as it doesn't negatively impact the health and safety of others", Scott said. Grad says she thinks Scott's proposed revisions are very doable between now and June 21, when the Legislature returns to take up vetoed bills.

A member of the D.C. Marijuana Coalition prepares joints on Jan, 5, 2017. I just hope that this isn't a foot-dragging situation, much like when cannabis opponents pretend that they aren't cannabis opponents and "just need to see more research" despite the enormous heap of research that is already available. The legalization would have decriminalized marijuana possession in small amounts for adults and allowed them to grow a few plants in their homes.

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The other four states - California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada - only legalized recreational marijuana in November, and state and local regulators haven't yet established how the drug will be sold and taxed.

I want to reiterate that we can all work together on this issue in a thoughtful and responsible way.

Opinions on marijuana legalization do not fall neatly along party; age; or geographic lines.

Marijuana sales in Vermont could have totaled $179 million by 2025 if the state had legalized recreational pot, according to estimates from New Frontier Data, a company that analyzes the marijuana industry.

The legislation would set up a commission to explore creating a structure for retail sales and taxation of marijuana, as is in place in Colorado and other states.

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While the Senate might have the votes to override the governor's veto, the same is not true in the House, which passed the bill by a vote of 79 to 66.

The Vermont chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics applauded the governor's decision.

"I'm very hopeful that lawmakers will make the changes he's asking for, and that next month the state will become the first in history to end cannabis prohibition by an act of the legislature".

"But our work is not over", he said.

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