Come July 2018, cannabis will be legal in Vermont.
The Green Mountain State made history on January 22 as the first state to legalize cannabis through legislation- all other states that have legalized cannabis so far have gone through a ballot initiative, only legalizing cannabis after the majority of the population showed support for it on the ballot.
Under House Bill 511 (H. 511), Vermont is legalizing possession of up to 1 oz.of cannabis for those over the age of 21 and allows personal cultivation of 2 mature (and up to 4 immature) plants per household, although strangely, there are no plans for recreational sales (yet). That makes Vermont similar to Washington, D.C., which also legalized cannabis but not recreational sales.
After signing the bill into law, Vermont Governor Phil Scott said, “Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511. I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children”.
Vermont previously tried to legalize cannabis last spring but the bill was vetoed by Governor Scott, who said more was needed to address impaired driving and keep cannabis away from children.
Under this new bill, the governor said that, “Consumption of marijuana in public places is prohibited. Consumption of marijuana by operators and passengers in a motor vehicle is prohibited. Schools, employers, municipalities and landlords are also empowered to adopt policies and ordinances further restricting the cultivation and use.”