Vermont governor vetoes recreational cannabis use bill

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have legalized consumption and home cultivation of recreational marijuana, dashing hopes the state would be the first in the nation to approve adult-use cannabis through the Legislature.

But Scott, a Republican, left the door open for compromise legislation that lawmakers could stitch together over the summer.

The vetoed bill, approved earlier this month by lawmakers, could have paved the way for a regulated commercial market in Vermont.

By rejecting the legislation, Scott set back efforts to make Vermont the third New England state to approve recreational marijuana, after Maine and Massachusetts.

In his veto message, the governor said the “Libertarian” in him supported the measure because it respects personal freedom. But that wasn’t enough to override Scott’s concerns that the bill did not sufficiently address testing for and punishing MJ-impaired drivers as well as keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors.

The measure would have established a nine-member commission mandated with issuing recommendations to the Legislature by November on taxing and regulating adult-use cannabis and providing a potential pathway to a fully regulated commercial market.

But Scott said November was too soon for regulations to be drafted and wanted to see the commission given at least a year for the job.

Eight states plus Washington DC have legalized recreational marijuana, but in each instance it was passed by voters.

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5 comments on “Vermont governor vetoes recreational cannabis use bill
  1. joe on

    what an ignorant response by the governor. his logic is severely deficient on this issue.

    if the goal is to protect kids and keep cannabis out of their hands, a legal regulated market is by far the best approach. who does he think will be more diligent in selling only to adults – street dealers or licensed business people with ties to the local community? to think that street dealers care how old their customers are is just ignorant.

    as for testing and punishing MJ impaired drivers… does the governor think that there are not MJ impaired drivers on the roads of vermont already? does he feel his law enforcement officers are not qualified to handle this situation? if that’s the case, train your LEOs instead of vetoing the bill.

    get your head out of the sand, governor scott. your excuses for vetoing the bill are nothing but a cop out.

  2. clifton middleton on

    He is an agent of the Great Lie and should resign immediately. These fake leaders are ‘slave catchers’ for the government and will someday face a Crimes against Humanity tribunal.

    • Rick Fague on

      No, there won’t be a trial, this is just another legislative hurdle that will be overcome. Legal marijuana is here to stay and there isn’t any way that threats or holding your breath will make it happen any faster, so just live your life until it’s legal in VT, it will happen, just not this week.

  3. paul sorensen on

    Governor Scott is weak. He is NOT a Libertarian at all. If he had the same standards toward alcohol, Vermont would be a dry state.
    Phil Scott could have been a leader, but he is not. Despite this needless delay, Vermont will have legal adult use pot.

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