Vermont governor snuffs legal pot, tells lawmakers to 'get it right'

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The policy changes suggested by Scott include tighter restrictions to keep pot out of the hands of minors, aggressive penalties for intoxicated drivers and expansions to the state's Marijuana Regulatory Commission to include representatives from the state departments of health, taxes and public safety, along with substance abuse and treatment professionals.

"If the Legislature agrees to make the changes I am seeking... we can move this discussion forward in a way that ensures the public health and safety of our communities and our children continues to come first", Scott said.

Scott is calling for more aggressive penalties for smoking pot while driving or using it in the presence of children.

Senate Bill 22 would have amended state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to two mature plants (and up to four immature plants) would have no longer been subject to penalty, beginning July 1, 2018.

May 24, 2017-The myopic Vermont governor actually blocked the United States first legalization law passed by a state legislature.

Eight states and the nation's capital have passed laws since 2012 legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, and medical marijuana laws are now on the books in 29 states and D.C., despite the federal government's longstanding prohibition on pot.

Although marijuana legalization has strong support in the state-it polled 55% in a February poll and 57% in a March poll-getting a bill through the legislature very nearly did not happen.

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- Pointing to concerns about preserving small-business jobs, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday vetoed a heavily debated and lobbied measure that supporters said would repeal a relic of the nation's emergence from Prohibition.

And while Turner concedes marijuana may soon be legal in the Green Mountain State, he doesn't think June's scheduled veto session is the right time to pass it.

He also wants the commission to take a year before making their final recommendations.

Scott said he would provide legislators with "recommended changes" to the bill, S.22. The New Hampshire Legislature is considering a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. So keeping marijuana illegal is doing nothing to deter the use of it in Vermont.

"We must acknowledge that marijuana is not alcohol and it is not tobacco", he said. The other states and D.C. legalized marijuana after public referendums. "I do think it's going to need all of us, all parties working together".

Despite advocates acknowledging that Wednesday's decision to reject the state legislature's recreational measure was in play, they still hailed the effort as a watershed moment in the legalization movement. It would have created a study commission to develop legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use.

"My gut tells me that most of our members are opposed to legalization and will not be wanting to suspend rules", says House Minority Leader Don Turner.

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