VT Governor has Until Wednesday to Sign Legalization Bill

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Vermont’s marijuana legalization bill finally hit Governor Phil Scott’s desk on Thursday, nearly two weeks after the state’s House of Representatives passed measure S.22 by a count of 79-66.

By Vermont law, Governor Scott has five days from the time he receives the proposed law to review and make a decision. The Governor can sign the bill into law, veto it, or decline to weigh in. If Scott doesn’t sign or veto S.22, the bill would become law. Scott has until the end of the day on Wednesday to make up his mind.

If the bill makes it to law, Vermont adults over the age of 21 would be legally permitted to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as grow up to two plants in their home. Retail sales and commercial cultivation of marijuana would still be prohibited, though the bill calls for a regulated market to be researched for possible future implementation.

Vermont would be the first state in the Nation to legalize marijuana without the need for a public vote if S.22 survives the Governor’s desk.

Scott has not yet indicated which way he is leaning, but did say that he had concerns about impaired driving.

“I’m not philosophically opposed to it,” Governor Scott said. “I’m not sure that the time is right now.”

After being inundated with calls from people on both sides of the argument, the Governor added, “Public opinion obviously matters, but again, I have to do what I think is right for the state throughout from a public safety standpoint.”

Cover Image Courtesy of Burlington Free Press

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