Vermont House Approves Bill Legalizing Recreational Cannabis

Vermont House Approves Bill Legalizing Recreational Cannabis

Flickr / Brian Shamblen / CC BY 2.0

On Jan. 4, 2018, the Vermont House of Representatives voted to approved H. 511, a bill legalizing recreational cannabis in the state.

Following the House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the bill, the full House vote came mere hours after United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions renewed his pledge to crack down on states that have legalized cannabis by rescinding the Obama-era Cole Memo, which effectively established a federal hands-off policy to states with legal cannabis, provided certain requirements were met.

According to the Burlington Free Press, Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe denounced Sessions, stating that Sessions’ decision had introduced “a new level of uncertainty for dozens of states.”

“Apparently, he’s more troubled by an 80-year-old using medical marijuana to treat a terminal health condition than he is by coordinating election strategy with Russians,” Ashe said.

With a vote of 81-63, H. 511 will now go to the state Senate for approval. Because the Senate already passed its own version of the bill for legalizing recreational cannabis last summer, lawmakers will simply have to approve the minor changes the House made to the bill, which outside observers expect to happen.

From there the measure will go to the desk of Gov. Phil Scott for approval, who has already pledged support for the bill in its current form.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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