Marijuana

Angela Evancie / VPR file

There's no question that the Vermont House and Senate have very different views concerning the legalization of marijuana. In the final days of the session, some lawmakers are trying to bridge this gap with a new compromise plan.

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The Vermont House narrowly passed a marijuana legalization bill late Tuesday night after hours of debate, but the legislation is not expected to advance further this year.

The Vermont Senate passed a bill legalizing marijuana Friday in a 21-9 vote, but that doesn't mean the path is clear for legal marijuana in this state.

Almost without exception, efforts to legalize marijuana in the U.S. involve citizens of an area making the choice for their elected officials by way of constitutional referendum. Vermont’s constitution doesn’t allow for that kind of ballot initiative approach.

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to a bill legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana
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Prospects for a marijuana legalization bill passing out of Montpelier this year grew even dimmer Tuesday, when key Senate lawmakers said their body is exceedingly unlikely to support the plan being considered in House.

Marijuana plants.
Labuda / iStock

A highly anticipated vote on a bill that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana was postponed indefinitely Tuesday when House leadership pulled the proposal from the floor, after it became apparent that the legislation did not have enough votes to pass.

A new advisory commission created by Gov. Phil Scott this week will focus on the issue of marijuana legalization in Vermont.
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The prospects for legalization of marijuana face a big moment this week: the Vermont House will take up a floor debate over whether to legalize possession of some amounts of pot in Vermont.

Neal Goswami / Vermont Press Bureau

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday in favor of a bill to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, sending the measure to the full chamber after Democratic leaders secured enough votes to ensure it passes.

Changes in the federal tax code could make it harder for economists to predict how much Vermont will collect in state revenues next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

There have been no snow days for elected officials this week, and that’s probably because they have some big legislative deadlines to hit in the next few days.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants lawmakers to pass a marijuana driver impairment law before they consider a legalization bill. But transportation officials say the kind of test that Scott wants to use doesn't exist at this time.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson joins the program to talk about a range of topics, including the Legislature's reaction to Gov. Phil Scott's proposal for Vermont school budgets.

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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.

Labuda / iStock

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.

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to a bill legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana
La_Corivo / iStock.com

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.

As we head into the 2018 legislative session, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson will be looking at education funding and a possible carbon tax for Vermont.
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.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

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.

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