Vermont is the ninth state in the United State to legalize marijuana usage and personal cultivation. Though they are one of the most politically liberal state in US, they don’t allow ballot initiatives. Thus, they are the first state to implement such law through legislature and not through residents vote (unlike what Washington DC, California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Nevada, and Oregon had).
Effective on July 1, this year, adults that are 21 years old and above are allowed possession of up to 1 ounce of the said drug and two mature plants (with up to four immature ones) per household. It also presses to enforce civil penalties on the consumption of the drug in public, while driving and additional sanction especially with the presence of a minor. It is also made clear that the legalization of recreational pots in Vermont is not yet supporting retail trade in the market.
Republican Governor Phil Scott, who signed the bill into a law, said it was a mixed emotion. "I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children." Prior to this approval, he admitted to have vetoed the earlier versions of this bill that allows commercial production or distribution of marijuana. He said, "there must be comprehensive and convincing plans" so that he can "begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial 'tax and regulate' system for an adult marijuana market." To this, he created a Marijuana Regulatory Commission , who will study the “regulation and taxation of a commercial adult-use marijuana market that is economically sustainable, reduces the illegal marijuana market, and results in net revenues to the State after appropriate costs for education, public health and public safety have been deducted." And they are expected to provide a final report before the end 2018. Until then, there will not be any addition to the current law.
It can be a bit tricky as to where the residents get marijuana seeds since no one is allowed to sell them. Laura Subin, Director of Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, told Burlington Free Press that no one is allowed to give marijuana seeds or plant as a gift. But surely as the saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way!