Marijuana

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As Vermont's House Judiciary Committee considers a bill to legalize marijuana, there has been discussion about exactly how much marijuana an individual could possess.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he won't support legislation legalizing marijuana in Vermont unless the bill contains strong provisions to allow law enforcement officials to determine if a person is driving while impaired.

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Last year, a marijuana legalization bill that would have set up a big state regulatory system similar to Colorado's failed. And many thought legalization would be put on the shelf for a while.

But new legislation being discussed at the State House would allow for personal possession, modeled after the law used by Washington, D.C.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

It’s been five weeks since lawmakers kicked off the 2017 legislative session, meaning the session is about a quarter over. Here are three issues that lawmakers are trying to tackling this year.

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants to be sure road safety concerns are dealt with before approving a legal recreational marijuana market in Vermont.
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Last year, the legislative push to legalize marijuana suffered a rather quick demise in the Vermont House. But this year’s body appears more receptive to the proposal, and a bill introduced this week would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

As chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, South Hero Representative Mitzi Johnson is no stranger to tough leadership assignments. As the presumptive Speaker of the House, Johnson is preparing to juggle more than just budget challenges next year, and says she wants to lawmakers to learn more about Vermont’s problems before they try to solve them.

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Vermonters will soon be a short drive away from easy access to legal marijuana in Massachusetts, and proponents of legalization in Vermont say it’s a game-changer for the legislative debate in Montpelier.

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Starting Thursday, it will be legal in Massachusetts to possess small amounts of marijuana, or to grow it for recreational purposes. In neighboring states like Vermont and New York, where pot possession remains illegal, law enforcement officials are preparing for what legalization in Massachusetts could mean for bordering areas.

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With less than a month remaining in office, Gov. Peter Shumlin is offering pardons to the thousands of people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses in Vermont.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When Vermont legalized medical marijuana sales, the new law put restrictions on the dispensaries that sold the product. And now some growers and distributors are having a hard time raising capital and meeting the challenges of running a business under such a restricted climate.

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More than 2,000 people in Vermont are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana registry, but some lawmakers say many eligible patients still have trouble obtaining medical cannabis.

Proposed legislation would lower some of the barriers to access.

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Two key lawmakers say they plan to resume the push to legalize cannabis in Vermont, but Governor-elect Phil Scott is urging them not to waste their time on the measure.

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On Tuesday, four more states approved the legalization of the use of recreational marijuana. That included two in New England: Massachusetts and Maine.

That could have a profound effect on legalization efforts in Vermont.

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A group of investors that includes two prominent Vermont businessmen has reached a tentative agreement to back a hemp farm in Hardwick that is producing pills with a high concentration of a substance claimed to be effective in blocking seizures in epileptics.

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A new WBUR poll finds support for the legalization of marijuana is up among likely Massachusetts voters.

An expert on the impacts of regular cannabis use on students is speaking at the Vermont Department of Health’s statewide symposium on alcohol, cannabis and other drugs at Lyndon State College this Friday.

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic — smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it’s illegal and worth a lot more.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Bruce Lisman, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, joined Vermont Edition for a one-on-one discussion. This interview is part of VPR's "Meet the Candidates" series, where we address a range of topics, but also want each participating candidate’s thoughts on four specific issues: gun control, taxes, marijuana legalization and health care.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Matt Dunne is one of three Democratic candidates for governor heading into the primary, and he joined Vermont Edition for a one-on-one discussion.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott is running as a Republication candidate for governor, and he joined Vermont Edition on Wednesday for a one-on-one conversation in advance of August's primary. 

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