Vermont governor vetoes marijuana legislation

Vermont governor vetoes marijuana legislation

Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana in Vermont.


Updated: 12:43 PM CDT May 24, 2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana in Vermont.

He announced the decision Wednesday afternoon at a press conference in the Pavilion Building in Montpelier.

The governor said he was not “philosophically opposed” to marijuana, but lawmakers have to address certain issues before committing the state to legalization.

The bill would have legalized adult possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana, and allow Vermonters to grow a couple of plants at home, starting in July, 2018.

The legislation would have set up a new study commission to consider adoption of a fully regulated marijuana market.

Scott said he read the text of S. 22 over the weekend and found some of his concerns were addressed by lawmakers. He had been worried about how highway safety would be affected by legalization, and how the bill would protect children.

Lt. Governor David Zuckerman denounced Scott’s decision, saying he ignored the will of voters.

“Prohibition has failed and causes approximately 100,000 Vermonters to be labeled lawbreakers,” Zuckerman said. “Vermont is now lagging behind other states in the region and is missing opportunities to capture revenue from an underground market that would allow us to address highway safety, drug education and treatment, and other needed state investments to reduce the temptation of drug use.”

The president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana released a statement responding to the governor’s decision.

“We commend Governor Scott for vetoing S22 and backing parents, teachers, doctors and law enforcement across Vermont who are working each day to make our communities healthier and safer,” SAM…

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