Vermont’s Governor Has a Plan to Legalize Marijuana

Governor Peter Shumlin wants marijuana to be legalized in Vermont. He outlined his basic plan for legalization in his State of the State address on Thursday, where he echoed the growing sentiment among the general population that “the outdated War on Drugs has also failed.” Governor Shumlin outlined five key requirements of the legalization effort, should it pass: 1) have protections to prevent adolescents from purchasing marijuana, 2) keep taxes low to push out black-market sellers, 3) use tax revenue to expand addiction prevention programs, 4) strengthen already-present DUI laws, and 5) ban the sale of edibles until the state can properly regulate them.

If this initiative passes, Vermont would be the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislative process, as opposed to a referendum, as was the case in Colorado and Washington. Some analysts are arguing the Vermont’s method will lead to more responsible regulation. Governor Shumlin is optimistic that Vermont will tackle this issue “with respect and care. I believe we have to capacity to take this next step and get marijuana legalization done right,” he said.

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