Legal Pot Bill Clears Key Committee in Vermont House

Article by Terri Hallenbeck, Seven Days Vermont

Legal Pot Bill Clears Key Committee in Vermont House

A bill that would legalize marijuana in Vermont is headed to the House floor next week, where leaders expect it will pass.

The House Judiciary Committee voted out the bill, H.170, by an 8-3 vote on Wednesday.

The action was delayed because House leaders feared the bill lacked the votes to pass the full chamber. That appears to have changed in the past few days.

“It sounds like we do have the votes ,” said Rep. Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill is similar to a law in Washington, D.C. It would legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults, but would not allow sales of the drug in stores or lounges. It would allow Vermonters to possess up to two mature and four immature plants.

Grad, who opposed efforts last year to tax and regulate marijuana as Colorado and several other states do, said she supported this bill because “it’s incremental.”

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