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Vermont Continues To Progress Towards Marijuana Legalization

Vermont, among the states that are planning to legalize cannabis, continues to make progress with marijuana legalization proposal.

MassLive reports:

The Vermont Senate’s finance committee approved a marijuana legalization bill on Friday, deciding upon a 25 percent tax and setting the legal possession limit at half an ounce.

Sen. Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden, had said the committee wanted to set a tax rate that would make marijuana cheap enough to compete with the existing black market, according to the Burlington Free Press.

The 6-1 vote, which came two weeks after a legalization bill cleared the legislative body’s judiciary committee, pushes the issue closer to a floor vote.

Shumlin also issued a more formal statement:
“I want to thank the Senate Finance Committee for (its) work and Sen. Tim Ashe for his leadership. Today’s vote builds upon the good work started by Senator Sears and the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am encouraged by the deliberate approach the Senate is taking on this issue, using the lessons learned from other states to craft a bill that is well thought out. We can take a smarter approach and I look forward to continuing to work to get a bill that ends the failed era of marijuana prohibition in Vermont.”

Judiciary’s version of the bill had drawn criticism from advocates when senators removed an option to allow homegrown pot. Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, chairman of the committee, had stated that the issue was a “line in the sand,” the newspaper reported.

The news comes as out-of-state money floods a 2016 Massachusetts ballot campaign “to regulate marijuana like alcohol.” The effort is backed by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, which is also pursuing ballot initiatives in Maine, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Massachusetts continues its effort to roll out medical marijuana with dispensaries opening in Brookline and Lowell.

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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