Supporters of marijuana legalization in Vermont are in mourning after the state’s House of Representatives rejected an adult-use cannabis bill their Senate colleagues approved in March.
The lopsided 121-28 vote means Vermont, for now, will not become the first state to pass legalization through its legislature.
It’s also the latest sign that legalization proponents face growing opposition in New England because of the region’s opiate abuse problem.
According to the Associated Press, some Vermont House members said they favored legalization. But they opposed the Senate measure because its proposed system of licensing and taxing growers and retailers – and barring home cultivation – was too commercial of an approach for a state sometimes known as the Socialist Republic of Vermont.
The House also rejected a Republican bill to put recreational legalization on a nonbinding statewide referendum on the August primary ballot.