Vermont Lawmakers Mulling Idea Of Legalizing Marijuana

Voters in Colorado, D.C. Washington State did it, but if Vermont’s lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana, it’d be the first state legislature to do so, instead of people heading to the polls to push it through.

In the land with freezers full of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, lawmakers are considering directly legalizing pot, reports USA Today, with Gov. Peter Shumlin saying he “continues to support” efforts to legalize pot.

It’d make Vermont the first state in history to have elected officials changing the law on marijuana themselves. It has to go down this way if it happens at all, as Vermont’s Constitution doesn’t allow for referendums and initiatives. There aren’t a lot of voters anyway, lawmakers say, so they’re very close to the people who actually do head to the ballots.

“It’s pretty easy to give us a call, and we’ll call you back,” said Sen. David Zuckerman, who’s planning on introducing a marijuana legalization bill this session.

Don’t break out the bongs just yet, Vermonters, as experts say even with momentum on its side, it’ll take a few years for state lawmakers to make legal marijuana happen.

“My sense is the Legislature here will move toward legalization, but not for two or three years so they can learn more from the experiences of Washington and Colorado,” Eric Davis, professor emeritus of political science at Middlebury College told USA Today.

Zuckerman is in favor of the fast lane instead of waiting around, however.

“I think there is a wait-and-see attitude on the part of many. There’s also a let’s-get-there-and-get-it-done attitude,” he said.

Vermont lawmakers consider legalizing marijuana [USA Today]

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