We are likely to see Vermont being the first U.S. state that will legalize marijuana through the use of an act of lawmakers early next year.
This is not the first time they are trying to get it done. In 2017, the state slightly fell short of getting cannabis legalized. The legislature had passed as a bill to legalize the personal possession of marijuana and also to grow. But the governor was not happy with the bill. He simply vetoed it and sent it back to the house with small changes to be done. The lawmakers had to make the changes if they wanted his support. The senate worked on the changes as fast as possible, but the House could not get through the procedural hurdles in time to get the bill passed again in time.
Move the bill quickly
Many people who advocate for the use of marijuana want the lawmakers to get the bill done as quickly as possible. Most believe if they use the regular order, then the bill will pass easily. This should be initiated as soon as the legislative reconvenes in January.
The Governor, Phil Scott was interviewed about legalizing marijuana in the state recently. He claimed that he was comfortable with the plant, but it had to be done properly. As much as he claims to be comfortable with it, that does not often show in his actions. Scott claims that such a bill is not his highest priority and he already made a commitment to support the bill if they had implemented a few changes to make it better.
Using the ballot to end cannabis prohibition
You might have noticed that it is a trend for most states. They have always ended cannabis prohibition mostly through the ballot measures approved by the voters during a legislative session. Vermont is introducing a new way of getting things done by using the act of lawmakers.
Vermont is also looking to introduce weed legalization differently from the other states with similar marijuana laws. The state is going to enact a noncommercial legalization of marijuana. This means that you can only possess small amounts of marijuana and grow a few plants for personal use. At first, there would be no licensed stores that would sell the marijuana to the consumers. Whether this would make things good for the black-market, we simply have to wait and see. The senate has passed a legislation that would create a commission responsible for future commercialization of cannabis in the state.
The New Jersey lawmakers are not playing it easy with the legalization of marijuana. They are pushing for the immediate commercialization of the marijuana sector once it is legalized. The aim of doing so is to undermine the black market. Once marijuana is available to the consumers at storefronts, they would not have to buy from their regular dealers on the black market.
There is no doubt that the bill will have to come to the governor’s desk once again for signing. This time if it has all the necessary changes, then the governor would have no option but sign it into law. Those changes to be effected might need to have a few compromises from either camp. If each side maintains hard stands, then nothing would be done.
The governor was quick to point out the effects of marijuana being legalized in the state. He claims that dangerous driving might be experienced on the highways. He advised that if the law is passed and marijuana is legalized, people still have to make sure they take care of themselves. There is no point of getting high and driving around.
The lack of commercialization of the marijuana sector could deny the state some of the important taxes it could earn from them. The other problem would be where the marijuana users can buy the products. It might mean going back to the black market. This is going to make the black market flourish unless the state can commercialize the use of marijuana in the state. Just having a few people growing marijuana for personal use does not cut it. Some might grow in hidden areas and get to sell for profits. With no tax plans in sight, they get to pocket all the money.