Vermont becomes ninth US state to legalise marijuana
Governor says he has mixed emotions about law allowing recreational use of drug
Vermont has become the ninth US state to legalise marijuana possession for recreational purposes - following the lead of California, Colorado and other states in need of a tax revenue boost.
Governor Phil Scott yesterday signed into a law a bill that legalises possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and that removes penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants. The law applies to people aged 21 and older.
Vermont -described by CNN as “one of the most liberal states in the country” - legalised the use of medical marijuana in 2004. The new law comes into effect on 1 July.
“With mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511 [House Bill 511],” Scott said in a statement addressed to the state’s General Assembly. “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.”
It is not clear when Vermont might pass a “tax-and-regulate bill” - a way for people to buy and sell the drug in a legal marijuana economy, HuffPost says.
California expects to generate up to $1bn (£710m) a year in new tax revenue after legalising the recreational use of cannabis from this month.