Gov. Scott has said he will likely be signing a marijuana legalization bill approved by the state legislature before Monday behind closed doors “to respect that some don’t feel this is a momentous occasion.”
Montpelier, VT- Vermont state lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have approved H.511, a bill to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. The bill was sent to Vermont Governor Phil Scott last week. Scott says he expects to sign the bill before Monday and that his counsel is making sure that “everything that is supposed to be in there is there.”
But Scott does not seem inclined to create a photo op out of signing the bill and plans to do it in private.
“It won’t be a public signing, but I will be signing it,” Scott said according to VT Digger. “I have choices. I could let it go into law without my signature, and I’m not going to go that route. I’m going to sign it, but it won’t be a public affair.”
If signed into law, H.511 would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over. The bill would also permit adults to possess up to two mature marijuana plants at home. The new law would take effect on July 1.
Vermont would become the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through the legislative process and not through a citizens ballot initiative.
Last year, Scott vetoed legislation that would have legalized recreational marijuana. Scott said he wanted to see more data on legalization and set up a committee to examine the issue. Scott now appears to be satisfied with the committee’s findings.
So far, Vermont is not setting up a taxation and regulatory structure for marijuana. While adults will be permitted to possess and cultivate their own marijuana, they will not have the opportunity to purchase it at storefronts. This also means that authorities will be able to rely on new tax revenues from legalized marijuana.