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Vermont: Legislation To Eliminate Adult Use Marijuana Penalties and Study Legalization Sent to Governor

Update: The bill was transmitted to the Governor on May 18. Governor Phil Scott has until the end of Wednesday May 24 to either sign or veto the legislation, and should he not act, the bill will go into effect by default. 

Update: The House voted to pass S. 22 by vote of a 79 to 66 and the legislation will now go to Governor Phil Scott for his signature or veto. Call the Governors office at (802) 828-3333 and send him an email below.  

Update: The final House vote on legalization is expected on Wednesday, May 11. The compromise language is printed in the House calendar beginning on page 70 here. The bill is S. 22, which had already passed the House (dealing with other drug penalties) but was amended by Senate to include legalization language and passed last week. We are asking the House to concur with the Senate's amendment, which would send S. 22 to Gov. Scott's desk. If it passes, we'll immediately want to flood his office with calls. He could either sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

Update: The Senate has passed on May 5 an unrelated bill (S. 22) to include the provisions of H. 170. It maintains House approved language eliminating penalties for the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of marijuana by July 2018, but also creates a new Marijuana Regulation Commission, to draft legislation by November 1, 2017 that "establishes a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for an adult-use marijuana market that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health." The commission's bill would be ready for a vote by January 2018.

Update: H. 170 passed its third reading by a vote of 75-71. House and Senate leaders are seeking to reconcile differing House and Senate bills prior to the close of the session next week.

Update: Members of the House on May 2 voted 74 to 68 in favor of H. 170 on its second reading. It awaits final approval upon its third reading. If passed, it will then be transmitted to the Senate.

Update: Members of the House Judiciary Committee advanced H. 170 on March 22 in an 8 to 3 vote. It now awaits action on the House floor. A new statewide Public Policy poll finds that Vermont residents favor this legislation by a margin of 57 percent to 39 percent.

Update: Governor Phil Scott says that he is hesitant to support H. 170 absent additional language addressing drugged driving.

Update: H. 170 was first heard on Thursday, Feb. 9th at 9:00am. 

Legislation is pending, H.170, to eliminate civil and criminal penalties specific to the possession and cultivation of personal use quantities of marijuana by adults.

If passed, the measure would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, up to ten grams of hashish, and/or the cultivation of two mature marijuana and four immature plants in a private residence. 

The measure would also reduce existing penalties for those who possess greater quantities of cannabis.

House members rejected a similar measure last session after Senate lawmakers had approved legislation to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail sale of cannabis. This year’s House measure does not address activities related to marijuana’s commercial production or sale.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are backing the proposal. 

Please use the pre-written letter below to urge Governor Phil Scott to sign S. 22 

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