Vermont is about to become the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana by an act of the legislature rather than a popular vote. The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation through a voice vote that was taken a week after the House approved the bill. Gov. Phil Scott has indicated that he will sign the legislation.
The New England political director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, Matt Simon, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article as saying, “Vermonters should be proud that their state is becoming the first to do this legislatively, rather than by ballot initiative.”
Unlike in states such as Colorado, Washington and California that have established market standards for legalized marijuana, the Vermont legislation only sets out limits for small use and growing for individuals.
There are indications that other states could adopt legalization measures through legislation as early as this year, with New Jersey appearing to be the closest to moving in this direction.