Vermonters hope to go green. Adults may get to smoke pot in the Green Mountain State. Senate Bill 241 passed the Vermont Senate by a vote of 17 to 12 on February 25th, 2016. The bill will allow marijuana for recreational use by adults, and will bring significant tax revenue into the state.
Along with more than twenty states in the U.S., marijuana is legal in Vermont for medicinal purposes. Also in line with many states’ laws, Vermont decriminalized marijuana in 2013. What’s historical about S.241 is the fact that it was not an initiative created by the people of Vermont. Instead, the efforts of Governor Peter Shumlin inspired the groundbreaking bill.
Vermonters support the idea. According to one poll, 55% of the state’s residents support legalizing pot.
If the bill passes, it will bring in a great deal of money. Vermont’s Senate Finance committee decided on a 25% tax rate for recreational weed. This could bring as much as 75 million dollars in tax money to the state.
Currently, the bill is in Vermont’s House of Representatives and is in committee. The bill will allow the set up of retail stores to sell up to one ounce of pot to individuals over the age of 21. The state will regulate and license all such outlets.
Surrounding states, such as New York, show concern that legalization of weed in Vermont will create an influx of maijuana violations for them. When tourists enter Vermont and buy pot they must remember to only use it there. When they return home, their own state won’t honor Vermont’s proposed law.
Whether it passes or not, this historic legislation if further evidence that many Americans believe it’s time to legalize weed.
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