Vermont’s Republican Governor is Set to Sign Marijuana Bill for Final Passage

Vermont is set to be the 1st U.S. state to legalize cannabis via legislation not ballot
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott publicly said he will sign the bill. (Image via VPR)

Unlike other states, Vermont will be the first to allow cannabis via legislation as opposed to votes.

On Jan. 10, the Senate in Vermont approved a marijuana bill, which allows personal cultivation and possession of cannabis.

A day after the passage of the bill, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott publicly said he will sign the bill, the local news outlet Seven Days reported.

While Scott – a Republican – has said previously that he will sign the bill, it was the first time he was announcing his intention publicly.

“We’ll take a look at it to make sure it’s technically correct, and then I’ll sign the bill,” Scott said during an unrelated Statehouse press conference about the first report of the governor’s Opioid Coordination Council.

Scott did not commit to a public signing. “There’s a lot of diverse opinions on this,” he said. “I have my opinion. We’ll see.”

Study: $132 billion could be generated from U.S. cannabis taxes by 2025
Californians celebrate after Prop 64 passed to legalize marijuana in the state. (File image via Reuters)

Senate Asked for Delayed Approval

The Senate passed the bill despite a request by leaders of the law enforcement community to delay its vote until the governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission issues a report due January 15.

Scott, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t necessarily wait for that.

“I’ve been briefed on the report,” he said. “I don’t think there’s going to be anything coming out of the commission report that will surprise anyone.”

Vermont paving the way for marijuana legalization in its state comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions tightened the noose on the growing trend in the United States.

Last week, Sessions sparked uproar when he rescinded an Obama-era policy, allowing U.S. states to operate legalized marijuana businesses and possession without any federal intervention.

On a federal level, marijuana continues to be an illegal drug in the United States.