Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marijuana legalization bill in Vermont senate

Vermont Could Be Next State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana - Matt Ferner, Huffington Post:

February 17, 2015 -"Vermont could become the first state in history to legalize recreational marijuana via state legislature with a new bill submitted Tuesday that aims to end prohibition of the plant.

"Senate Bill 95 would legalize the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana in the state for those 21 and older. Adult residents could possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to nine plants (two mature, seven immature) for personal use, including any additional marijuana produced by those plants. Personal cultivation would be limited to secure indoor facilities.

"Non-residents could also enjoy the new laws, legally purchasing up to one-quarter of an ounce of marijuana from a licensed retail shop.

"The bill also proposes an excise tax of $40 per ounce of marijuana flower, $15 per ounce of any other marijuana product and a $25 tax on each immature cannabis plant sold by a cultivator.

"Forty percent of revenue brought in through marijuana taxation would be earmarked for substance abuse treatment services; public education programs about the risks of using various drugs; law enforcement; and academic and medical research on the plant.

"Marijuana would remain banned from being smoked in public.

"A Marijuana Control Board would be established to oversee the state industry and enforce regulations....

"If the measure passes, it's likely that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) would sign it into law.

"'My bias ... is toward legalization,' Shumlin said in January. 'Let’s remember, we have this conversation and we pretend that you can’t get marijuana now. In the real world, folks, if you want to get marijuana in Vermont, we’re in Lala Land if we’re pretending you can’t. The question is how do we move to a smarter approach that doesn’t promote addiction, that doesn’t promote abuse and really accepts the reality'."

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