Posted on March 30, 2016 10:34 AM
22 March 2016, Montreal.
Following weeks of testimony and debates, The Vermont Senate made history when it voted 17-12 to pass the bill and send it to the House of representatives.
The bill which is in the last stages of getting approved would allow adults over 21 to smoke and purchase the drug. The bill is being seen as the state's initiative towards a comprehensive approach to Marijuana use and check the potential abuse through incorporating prevention, education, regulation, treatment and law enforcement in place.
Gov Peter Shumlin captured the headlines of both local and national media when he urged for a legislature to develop and pass Marijuana Regulation bill in 2016, during his state address. The legislation would establish a 25 percent sales tax on marijuana, along with licensing fees for growers and retailers. That would generate up to $20 million in new revenue, money reserved for drug prevention and treatment, for administration of the program, and for hiring and training additional law enforcement officers across the state. The Act although is designed on the lines on giving back to the society and making the drug more approachable yet restricted. Revenue generated from the sales of the drug will be used in the administrative and scientific development process. If the bill is passed, it will create history for Vermont, by making it the first US state to give green signal to legalize the recreational Marijuana use through legislation.
With the Cannabis movement gaining momentum in 2016, several states have started to acknowledge the importance of Cannabis in medical procedures and treatments of severe conditions. Vermont too is expected to make a favourable move in the coming year. But there are several anti Cannabis sentiments still prevailing in political landscape, especially from the Republicans, which poses a threat to the state's stand. If approved, the law would take effect January 2018.