Vermont's Republican governor signs marijuana into law and makes United States history

Vermont's Republican governor signs marijuana into law and makes United States history

Vermont is now the ninth state to legalize marijuana. Vermont now joins eight other states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington (and Washington DC) - to declare an end to cannabis prohibition. Residents 21 and over will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana flower.

Other politicians might have handled the occasion differently. The Granite State has a medical marijuana law and a commission is now studying the possible legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. But Scott is only hitching his political wagon to the cannabis star reluctantly.

In a letter to lawmakers, Scott said he signed the bill, H.511, with "mixed emotions".

Give him points for being consistent.

Scott said last week that he intends to sign the pot bill before Monday. That time he did go in front of the cameras, listing off specific objections at his weekly press conference and fielding multiple questions about his decision to block the reforms.

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Several state legislatures are also considering nonbinding resolutions that express the will of lawmakers that Trump administration should not interfere with local cannabis laws. But they will have to wait a little longer to celebrate since the law doesn't come into effect until summer.

A New Jersey resolution asks Congress to pass laws "that are fair and compassionate, permit states to set their own medical marijuana policies without federal interference, and make marijuana accessible to the millions of Americans who would benefit from its medicinal properties".

Scott, a Republican, vetoed a similar bill last May. Vermont law contains no mechanism that allows for a citizen referendum. "There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial "tax and regulate" system for an adult marijuana market. SAM looks forward to continuing to our work in Vermont and collaborating with medical professionals, educators, and law enforcement communities to educate Vermonters on the dangers that legalization poses to their handsome state".

Scott spokeswoman Rebecca Kelly says the governor has until 11:59 p.m. Monday to sign the bill.

New Hampshire moved past year to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot.

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