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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Vermont Moves Towards Legalization

The marijuana legalization movement continues as 2016 draws closer. Vermont may become one of the next states to legalize marijuana, making it the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through the state legislature, the Huffington Post reports. Known as Senate Bill 95, the measure would legalize the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana for those over the age of 21.

Due to the drugs widespread use, Sen. David Zuckerman, a member of the state's Progressive party, is sponsoring the bill which would allow adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to nine plants, according to the article. However, personal cultivation would only be able to take place in secure indoor facilities.

"One can experiment with alcohol, as many do, and use marijuana, as many do, and turn out to be a positive and productive member of our society," Zuckerman said. “Certainly, I’ve not hidden the fact that I recreationally used while I was in college, and yet I turned out to be a productive business person."

Tax revenue generated from marijuana sales would be used for:
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Services
  • Drug Use Public Education Programs
  • Law Enforcement
  • Marijuana Research
"My bias on legalization is toward legalization," said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). "Let’s remember, we have this conversation and we pretend that you can’t get marijuana now. In the real world, folks, if you want to get marijuana in Vermont, we’re in Lala Land if we’re pretending you can’t. The question is how do we move to a smarter approach that doesn’t promote addiction, that doesn’t promote abuse and really accepts the reality."

Last week, Vermont lawmakers, lobbyists and law enforcement officials visited Colorado with the hope of acquiring more information about the effects of recreational marijuana legalization, the article reports.

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