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posted by Fnord666 on Friday May 12 2017, @02:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the Cheech-and-Chong-would-be-proud dept.

The Burlington Free Press, via USA Today, reports that Vermont's legislature has approved a bill to legalise cannabis for recreational use. The bill has not been signed by the state's governor, Republican Phil Scott. According to the article

Vermont's bill, which would legalize small amounts of marijuana possession in 2018 and anticipate the possibility of a taxed and regulated legal marijuana market, was approved in the Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 79-66. The state Senate already passed the bill, so it will go directly to GOP Gov. Phil Scott.

Eight states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana following a voter referendum, but no state yet has legalized marijuana solely through the legislative process, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legalization advocates said bills were pending in other state legislatures.

"I think it reflects that Vermont elected officials are more in touch with our constituents than a lot of elected officials in other states," said Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, a member of the Vermont Progressive Party who has worked on marijuana issues for the majority of his political career. "I think the public is ahead of us, but elected officials tend to be cautious when it comes to change."


Original Submission

Related Stories

Vermont Recreational Cannabis Bill Vetoed with Changes Recommended 14 comments

Vermont's Governor Phil Scott has vetoed a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis in the state, but says "there is a path forward on this issue":

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, said on Wednesday he was vetoing a bill to legalize marijuana, and sending it back to the legislature for changes. "We must get this right," Scott said in prepared remarks at a press conference today. "I think we need to move a little bit slower."

Though he said he views the issue "through a libertarian lens," Scott vetoed the bill due to concerns about detecting and penalizing impaired drivers, protecting children, and the role and makeup of a Marijuana Regulatory Commission. The governor said he is "not philosophically opposed" to legalization, "and I recognize there is a clear societal shift in that direction." He said he'll send recommended changes to the the Democratic-majority legislature, and that if they address his concerns, "there is a path forward on this issue."

Also at The Hill, NORML, Reason, The Washington Post (AP), and The Vermont Standard.

Previously: Vermont Legislature Passes Cannabis Legalisation Bill


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by takyon on Friday May 12 2017, @02:30AM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday May 12 2017, @02:30AM (#508437) Journal

    It would be the first time in U.S. history that a state legislature has legalized cannabis, rather than a voter initiative. It would be a rare example of representatives representing their constituents (although the sweet tax money they could collect might be the decisive factor).

    https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/vermont-awaits-decision-governor-cannabis-legalization [leafly.com]

    On Thursday, the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont sent Scott a letter urging him to veto the legislation, arguing it could “roll back critical public health gains” in the state.

    Go home, Tobacco Free Vermont. You're drunk.

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    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Friday May 12 2017, @04:03AM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 12 2017, @04:03AM (#508459) Journal

      "I think it reflects that Vermont elected officials are more in touch with our constituents than a lot of elected officials in other states,"

      I think it reflects that Vermont did not have the balls to go FIRST.

      Quite frankly, I'd rather see this as voter referendum rather than a fickle political machination.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @07:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @07:44AM (#508527)

        Quite frankly, the state of Vermont apparently doesn't give a shit about what you prefer.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by idiot_king on Friday May 12 2017, @05:08AM (5 children)

    by idiot_king (6587) on Friday May 12 2017, @05:08AM (#508488)

    Anyway, glad to see states exercising their individual rights to fight against Der Trumpenreich with initiatives such as this, not to mention places like California refusing to cooperate with ICE and such. Even though the core of this apple is rotten (or, at least Cheeto-flavoured) there is still a chance to fight back against the Neo-Gestapo.
    I hate to admit it, but maybe the "Founding Fathers" did get something right with the concept of "states rights".....
    (Except for the whole, ya know, slavery thing....)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @07:50AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @07:50AM (#508529)

      At some point, the basket case States that are net receivers of federal money need to be allowed to hit bottom.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @12:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @12:56PM (#508591)

        In a shocking turn of events society's innovators spurn authoritarian and regressive areas, flocking instead to cultural centers where world knowledge is more widely shared.

        Shocking.

    • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday May 12 2017, @01:36PM

      by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday May 12 2017, @01:36PM (#508602) Journal

      It's the Idiot Queen!

      Oh can the slavery crap. Without states rights, how could you have bathroom laws? After all, without bathroom laws, a “man” like me could just stroll into the women's room and rape away any time I want, right?! And the only thing stopping me are bathroom laws, because I wouldn't possibly break the law in order to pursue raping womyn-born-womyn, right?!

      Better be careful here too! If I get cannabis, I'll turn me into a veritable rape machine! I might even put my hair in a bun instead of a pony tail! I might keep up with trimming split ends like I used to! I might actually get my confidence back to go out in public using my full advanced infiltrator capabilities (yes, I would fool you and every other goddamned asshat who thinks they can spot a “crossdresser” at 100 yards just by sniffing the air), all just to rape and sexually abuse your hunnies with my spooky action at a distance.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday May 12 2017, @04:38PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday May 12 2017, @04:38PM (#508700)

      Didn't the big D promise to legalize MJ during the campaign?

      I mean, more often than he promised to crack down on it.

  • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday May 12 2017, @01:25PM (1 child)

    by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday May 12 2017, @01:25PM (#508599) Journal

    A Republican governor, you say? Seeing as how Republicans and feminists and now in bed, seeing as how Republicans view it as their mission to act against anything and everything that might be rooted in “science” or at least principles of small government, seeing as how cannabis is a date-rape drug according to feminists, this is getting vetoed by noon today.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Friday May 12 2017, @05:07PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday May 12 2017, @05:07PM (#508726) Journal

      Well it's past noon in Vermont and the bill is not dead yet. Plenty of Republicans must have voted for the bills (still looking for the breakdown), and the Senate one had a Republican co-sponsor. We're living in a glorious time where Republicans can embrace their newfound love of taxation and ignore their 70+ year old constituents [leafly.com]:

      Montpelier attorney Paul Giuliani, 73, said he felt the legislation was a terrible idea. Laws haven’t been able to keep alcohol out of the hands of underage drinkers, and they won’t work with cannabis users, either, he said. “It just sends the wrong message,” Giuliani said.

      DIAF, Gramps.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @02:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @02:53PM (#508636)

    Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, we've just watched every state on our borders legalize marijuana. It's still a felony here if you've got a bag on you and the police decide to frame it as trying to sell (possession is "only" several hundred dollars and a misdemeanor). I wonder if we'll be next, or if the current governor is going to double-down on our current laws. Staying as is probably won't work.

    It seems like the latter would be quite good for the police unions, and they've got a fair bit of power here. Just set up some people at the borders and pull over the stoner-looking types re-entering the state, and you've instantly got a new revenue stream. I think the public (certainly the politicians) would have their back, too. They seem to be pretty well bought into the idea that legalizing marijuana would somehow make everyone who isn't already one into an opiate addict.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @08:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12 2017, @08:55PM (#508849)

    Previous experiments with drugging the populace into compliance(anti-depressants) resulted in too many retaining personal autonomy and creating incidents(shooting sprees). A clear need has been identified for narcotic agents(cannabis) to remove individual agency as well as promoting happy thoughts. It is hoped that with this new shift the proletariat will be made fully subservient to the bourgeoisie and total control will be obtained.

    In other words: Remember who hooked you up and vote accordingly during election season!

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Saturday May 13 2017, @11:00AM

    by turgid (4318) on Saturday May 13 2017, @11:00AM (#509088) Journal

    The Liberal Democrats [bbc.co.uk] plan to legalise cannabis in a "regulated market" if they win the General Election.

    They never win General Elections.

    The last time Labour [bbc.co.uk] was in power, they regraded cannabis from Class B to Class C [talktofrank.com] for a short period of time before putting it back up to Class B.

    More recently, the Conservative Party [bbc.co.uk] tried to outlaw "legal highs" [theguardian.com]. Mrs May [theguardian.com] stopped short of making caffeine illegal, though.

    Take the supply of drugs out of the hands of criminals.

    Stop making criminals of people who chose to put certain substances in their own bodies at no harm to anyone else.

    Improve the quality and safety of those substances.

    Enough of the Victorian attitude to sobriety.

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