Vermont Lawmakers Send Marijuana Legalization Bill To Governor's Desk

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The Vermont Senate has voted to legalize recreational marijuana, putting the state back on path towards becoming the first in the country to legalize cannabis with its legislative body rather than a ballot measure.

The measure now awaits action from Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who vetoed similar legislation past year.

Vermont's Senate and House passed a similar marijuana legalization bill a year ago, but it in May because he believed it lacked adequate safety measures.

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The Vermont bill would allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, two adult plants, and four immature plants beginning on July 1.

Almost eight months after vetoing a similar proposal over safety concerns, 's signature is slated to make Vermont the ninth state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana, albeit the first to rely on its elected lawmakers rather than the voting public. The actions in both New England states come just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidance to federal prosecutors deprioritizing federal pot law enforcement in states where it is legal.

The Senate quickly approved the changes, but House Republicans blocked a needed vote on them during a short budget session last summer.

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"We'll take a look at it to make sure it's technically correct, and then I'll sign the bill", Scott said during a Statehouse press conference yesterday.

On the other hand, cannabis advocates and enthusiasts feel that the legalization will bring the end of the black market and create an increase in tax profits.

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