Vermont House passes recreational legalization bill. Senate to vote next week

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Lawmakers in the Vermont House passed a proposal that would make the Green Mountain State the latest to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

House lawmakers spent much of the day Thursday, with a break during Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s State of the State speech, debating a proposal that was passed by the state Senate last June. The debate took place with the backdrop of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding a policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country.

Throughout the debate in the Statehouse, the full House rejected a series of Republican-proposed changes to the law. The first proposal that was rejected would have delayed implementation of the law a year, until July 1, 2019. Other amendments focused on what the opponents of the underlying proposal said were ways to protect public safety.

But proponents felt those issues were addressed in the existing legislation.


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Slight changes were made to the original bill to legalize the adult possession of up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. The measure must return to the Senate for another vote.

On Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a Democrat and Progressive, said he expected the Senate could vote on the bill Tuesday.

Scott has said he’d sign the legislation.


This is a modified version of an Associated Press story, reflecting the House vote


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