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Vermont First State to Legalize Pot through Legislature

by Countable | 1.25.18

What’s the story?

Vermont has become the first state to legalize marijuana by passing a law in the legislature rather than through a ballot measure.

Why does it matter?

On Monday, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed H.511 into law, legalizing the possession and consumption of marijuana for recreational use in the Green Mountain State.

The law goes into effect July 1, and allows adults to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. The bill does not create a commercial marijuana industry.

"Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511," Scott said in a statement. He continued:

“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.”

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

What do you think?

Should pot legalization be decided by ballot initiative or through state legislature? Or should the legal status of marijuana remain a federal issue? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then comment below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Rex_Wholster/ iStock)

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Written by Countable

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(75)
  • Donna
    01/25/2018
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    Way to go, Vermont!! The DEA spends billions of dollars every year on the war against drugs. Under the out-dated, prejudiced views of AG Sessions, that number will only increase. Maybe the feds should consider leaving marijuana alone and using the extra billions of our money to treat and help stem the opioid crisis we have. Or maybe it can be spent on improving the health and well-being of all Americans. This war on pot has been going on since the late 1960s. I would think 50 years of fighting a losing battle is more than enough time and wasted taxpayer money. Shouldn't the feds declare defeat and move on to more pressing matters?

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  • Josh
    01/25/2018
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    This is a stellar move for Vermont. I just wonder if the next step is to free those in prison/jail for nonviolent marijuana related crimes.

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  • AlexaB
    01/25/2018
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    Great work Vermont!!! Medicinal and recreational should be allowed everywhere - unnecessary loss of money for states - lets take it out of the black market and tax this like Colorado so we can give back to our climate change and education systems that this admin is DESTROYING.

    Like (36)
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  • DCM
    01/25/2018
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    Vermonts governors statement is throughly under my support! Treat adults as people! Why limit a growing industry that boosts the American economy and provides medicinal benefits for people who benefit from it?

    Like (26)
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  • Countryfirst
    01/25/2018
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    Common sense legislation..good for you Vermont!

    Like (19)
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  • DayGallini
    01/25/2018
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    Good job Vermont!

    Like (19)
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  • Sam
    01/25/2018
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    Good for Vermont God bless them state should start standing up strong against the federal government when it comes to marijuana regulations and tell them they have no jurisdiction in their state to arrest anyone

    Like (17)
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  • David
    01/25/2018
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    I live in an area where marijuana is legalized for both medical and recreational use. Not only has crime NOT increased, our tax revenue has increased significantly. It has not caused any problems in the community. This should be the model for the entire country. Make it legal and tax it. Bring in revenue instead of wasting taxpayer money on keeping it illegal.

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  • Sean
    01/25/2018
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    If you’re confused by the Federal vs State law, go watch Refer Madness and you will get an idea of what the ideology of those opposed to Mary Jane is rooted in. Racism and bigotry. (See:Jeff Sessions) Once you get a handle on the goal of the opposition and what the DATA suggests is fine for recreational consumption you can make a more informed educated guess on what’s “right.” Or you might get sucked into the Hate Machine. Good luck.

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  • Vicki
    01/25/2018
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    It’s getting very confusing. How can a law be legal in a state, but not at a Federal level? A Federal worker would lose their security clearance if caught with pot in a state where it is legal. Alcohol and cigarettes are drugs yet the Federal government does not get involved, even though many people die each year from cigarettes and alcohol related accidents.

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  • WaterHopsBarley
    01/25/2018
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    Hooray Vermont! Lead the way for the rest of us, please.

    Like (11)
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  • Alexandra
    01/25/2018
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    Fantastic job, Vermont!!

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  • Cathy
    01/25/2018
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    Yay Vermont now if I can get NM to follow! Gives you time to figure out the biz side of this industry while allowing individuals to partake!

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  • RadicalModerate
    01/25/2018
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    After the exodus from New York, they’ll rename route 11 “The Vermont Trail”.

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  • Kathleen
    01/25/2018
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    That’s the best news I heard in a while.

    Like (9)
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  • Stephen
    01/25/2018
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    Marijuana has 0 safety risks. And oh by the way, the drug war costs taxpayers billions per year and ruins millions of lives.

    Like (8)
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  • Claude
    01/25/2018
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    It time for congress to move forward to permit states to be responsible for use of marijuana in their state. It is time to address opioid use and stop Session attack on use of marijuana

    Like (6)
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  • Joan
    01/25/2018
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    Three cheers for Vermont! The war on Drugs was lost a long time ago.

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  • Joe
    01/25/2018
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    Virginia needs to follow Vermont's precedence and legalize marijuana via legislation. There is no downside to this. The revenue the state receives will be tremendous. The statistical crime rate will go down. And even more importantly law enforcement can focus on the other pandemic drug use that is virilizing our state. We will eventually have a bigger problem than States like West Virginia- where this is truly ruining the state. Alcohol is legal. People drive every day after having a drink at a restaurant. I would much rather share the road with someone under the influence of marijuana than alcohol. And there has been zero scientific evidence to support that marijuana is carcinogenic. Oh. And btw. I have Parkinsons disease and marijuana calms my shaking better than any lab formulated drug- doing God knows what else to my body- could ever do.

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  • Terry
    01/25/2018
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    I think marijuana should be legalized in every state . In my opinion it's not any worse than alcohol

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