On March 22, 2017, the Vermont House Judiciary Committee voted 8-3 to advance H. 170, a bill that would legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state.
Under the proposed measure, the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would be legal for adults aged 21 years or older. Individuals would also be able to possess and cultivate up to two mature and seven immature marijuana plants for personal consumption.
However, unlike other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, the retail sale of marijuana would still remain illegal. In 2016, lawmakers tried to pass a legalization bill that included retail sales but it was ultimately defeated in the House, despite approval from the Senate and the governor.
Speaking with NBC 5, Judiciary Committee member Rep. Thomas Burditt expressed his support for H. 170 and rejected the concerns raised by Gov. Phil Scott.
“There really aren’t problems in states that have legalized. Problems that were projected — it was going to be the Wild West as far as people smoking and driving — that never came to fruition,” Burditt said. “The other fear — of kids using — well, rates of teen marijuana use are dropping faster in states that have legalized.”
H. 170 will now go to the House floor for a vote, which is expected to happen in the coming days.