Marijuana legalization is becoming more and more frequent as voters head to polls and put initiatives on ballots, voicing their opinions for access to the plant. What hasn’t happened yet, however is a state legislature doing it on its own.
Vermont, home of Senator Bernie Sanders, may just become the first to do it.
After a year of negotiations and deliberations in the state senate, legislators have said that the time has allowed them to come to considerations on the impact and regulation of the drug. The proposed bill would allow adults 21 and over to buy weed starting in 2018.
Key stipulations of the bill include a prohibition on homegrown plants and the sale of edibles with marijuana extract. A proposed 25% tax would be applied to sales as well, funding drug law enforcement and education programs.
State Senator Jeanette White, one of the sponsors of the bill says, “It makes for a much more thoughtful and measured approach. We got to work out the details, we got to ask the questions first and put the whole infrastructure in place before it happens."
Time is of the essence as the current session ends in May and it’s unclear whether or not Democrats in the legislature have enough votes to pass the measure. "Many of our members are opposed to this proposal and I don't know that it can be changed enough for them to change their minds," said Representative Donald Turner, the House Republican leader. "I don't feel there is a good argument for legalizing it at this point."
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