On April 21, 2017, the Vermont Senate voted 21-9 to approve H.308, a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
Although initially intended to simply address drug possession penalties, the bill was subsequently amended by Sen. Jeanette White to include the legalization, regulation, and taxation of recreational marijuana.
“We know that prohibition has not worked,” White told the Vermont Public Radio. “For many years we’ve known that. Marijuana is out there, it’s being used, it’s creating an underground market that serves no one. It doesn’t serve the state, the kids, the adults.”
Borrowing language from a 2016 legalization bill that died in the House, H.308 would allow for an unlimited number of grow operations that are no more than 500 square feet in size. Tax revenue generated by the legal marijuana market would go to fund a youth prevention and education campaign.
With two weeks left in the legislative session, there is little hope that the House will pass the measure in time; however, White and her colleagues hope to force the issue when the legislature reconvenes in January.