'With mixed emotions': Gov. Phil Scott signs marijuana bill into law

Vermont Just Legalized Recreational Marijuana

Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill Monday that legalizes adult possession and consumption of marijuana in Vermont beginning on July 1. The sale of recreational marijuana will remain illegal in the Green Mountain State for now, but that could change in the near future if a commission currently studying the issue recommends pursuing a retail market.

The new law allows adults 21 years or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. And that move will undoubtedly influence nearby states to consider reforming their marijuana laws as well. At a press conference last week, he announced that he would be signing the bill in private.

Vermont joins eight other states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, though the statute here is the first to arrive by way of the Legislature, as opposed to citizen referenda. Scott made the decision to sign it behind closed doors because he didn't think it was appropriate to hold a signing ceremony for the controversial legislation.

Vermont is the first state where the law was approved by the legislature.

New Hampshire moved previous year to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Marijuana legalization is now among the most popular and bipartisan policies in the country.

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"I believe we will end up with a net improvement of public health and safety even though I recognize there will be some bad outcomes", Sand said. Lawmakers revised the proposal to do more to protect children and enhance highway safety.

Recreational use of marijuana already has passed in ME and MA, and both states are awaiting the implementation of systems to tax and regulate marijuana.

Earlier this month, the New Hampshire House of Representative voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

Scott had previously said he would sign the bill, which he called "a libertarian approach".

This story has been corrected to show the governor had until 11:59 p.m. Monday to sign the bill, not that the deadline had passed.

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