Vermont governor criticizes Massachusetts rec initiative

A battle is brewing between two New England states over which has the better cannabis legalization proposal.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said a recreational legalization bill recently approved by his state’s Senate and now being considered by its House of Representatives is superior to a recreational legalization ballot measure in Massachusetts that backers expect to have before voters in November.

The difference? Massachusetts’ ballot measure permits edibles, smoking lounges, and home delivery. As Shumlin noted in a blog post on his website recently, “Vermont’s bill allows none of that.”

Shumlin argued that edibles have caused problems in Colorado, and therefore Vermont legislators should approve the bill in front of them before Massachusetts voters get a chance to decide on the ballot measure.

“If Massachusetts moves forward with their legalization bill while Vermont delays, the entire southern part of our state could end up with all the negatives of a bad pot bill and none of the positives of doing the right thing,” Shumlin wrote.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Massachusetts said Shumlin’s criticism of edibles in particular was unfounded.

“He seems to focus on edibles as a negative and, unfortunately, I think he’s falling into the same exaggerations when it comes to edibles that a lot of other people have,” Jim Borghesani, a Campaign spokesman, told