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in vermont, lawmakers lead the way on legalizing recreational pot


a total of eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. that left-leaning vermont is poised to join them is hardly a surprise.but unlike the other states, which all legalized pot through ballot measures, vermont lawmakers are taking the lead.on wednesday, the state legislature became the first in the united states to approve a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. republican gov. phil scott has indicated he will soon sign the measure into law.the move by lawmakers shows how far the legalization movement has come. ballot measures allow lawmakers to hide their own opinions on the issue. bills force them to take a public stance and assume the political risks.those risks have diminished as public support for legal pot has grown. a gallup poll in october found that 64% of ameri






vermont legislature becomes first in u.s. to vote to legalize recreational marij


vermont's legislature on wednesday became the first in the country to vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.the legislation, which passed the house by a 79-66 vote, would allow adults to possess and use small amounts of the drug beginning next year. the bill was identical to one passed last week by the senate that also sets up a commission to study the best way to regulate marijuana.the bill now heads to republican gov. phil scott, whose spokeswoman said he's not philosophically opposed to legalizing marijuana but must be sure the bill answers certain public safety and health questions."he'll review the bill when received to determine if those questions are addressed," spokeswoman rebecca kelley said after the vote.if scott signs the legislation it will become law on july 1, 2






vermont could legalize recreational pot next


adults in vermont are one step closer toward being able to consume marijuana without worrying about going to jail after the house passed a measure this week aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis. although only by a slim margin, the bill was approved with a 71 to 74 vote tuesday. the bill, named h.170, was introduced by…






vermont marijuana legalization bill heads to governor's desk


montpelier, vt. — the legalization of recreational marijuana use in vermont is now in the hands of republican gov. phil scott.vermont legislators sent their bill to scott's desk thursday, initiating a five-day countdown for the governor to make a decision on it.vermont is the only state in the country where recreational marijuana use has been approved by a legislature. if the bill becomes law, vermont would be the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of pot.vermont public radio reports (http://bit.ly/2ry54p1 ) that scott has been lobbied by both supporters and opponents of the bill. the governor says he's not opposed to the legislation, but isn't sure vermont should move forward until the state passes stronger highway safety measures.






vermont legislature 1st in us to vote to legalize marijuana


montpelier, vt. (ap) — vermont’s legislature on wednesday became the first in the country to vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.the legislation, which passed the house by a 79-66 vote, would allow adults to possess and use small amounts of the drug beginning next year. the bill was identical to one passed last week by the senate that also sets up a commission to study the best way to regulate marijuana.the bill now heads to republican gov. phil scott, whose spokeswoman said he’s not philosophically opposed to legalizing marijuana but must be sure the bill answers certain public safety and health questions.“he’ll review the bill when received to determine if those questions are addressed,” spokeswoman rebecca kelley said after the vote.most read storiesunlimited digital acce






vermont legislature becomes first in u.s. to legalize marijuana for recreational


the vermont legislature made history wednesday, becoming the first in the u.s. to approve a bill put forward by lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana.the democratic-controlled legislature passed h.511, which allows individuals 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to two plants to maturity. republican gov. phil scott has indicated he will sign the measure into law later this month.to date, eight states — including california, colorado and nevada — have legalized recreational marijuana, but have done so through voter-approved ballot measures.in vermont, the issue of legal marijuana has been debated for several years, with most polls showing widespread support from voters.other state legislatures considering legalizing pot this year include rhode island an






vermont lawmakers expected to resume marijuana debate


montpelier, vt. (ap) — vermont lawmakers are expecting to resume the debate about legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in the opening days of the 2018 legislative session, which begins wednesday.a revised marijuana legalization bill was passed by the state senate in june that addressed concerns expressed when republican gov. phil scott vetoed the original bill passed by both chambers in may.the house did not have time to act on the proposal during a one-day veto session, but since 2018 is the second year of the two-year session, the bill remains active and can be voted on as earlier as thursday.scott spokeswoman rebecca kelley says legalization is not a priority for the governor, but he will sign a legalization bill if it reaches his desk.most read storiesunlimited digital access.






how illinois can learn more about legalizing marijuana


smell something funny, illinoisans? the trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana that has wafted through other parts of the country has made its way to springfield.eight other states and the district of columbia have already approved recreational pot use. now in illinois, where medical marijuana is already legal, a couple of democratic state lawmakers from the north side have worked up a proposed law that would make it legal to toke up, as long as a user is 21 or over and possesses no more than an ounce. driving under the influence of weed would still be illegal, as would lighting up in public.state sen. heather steans and state rep. kelly cassidy say the measure would create badly needed revenue for state government. steans says taxing pot in illinois would generate $350 million to






how illinois can learn more about legalizing marijuana


smell something funny, illinoisans? the trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana that has wafted through other parts of the country has made its way to springfield.eight other states and the district of columbia have already approved recreational pot use. now in illinois, where medical marijuana is already legal, a couple of democratic state lawmakers from the north side have worked up a proposed law that would make it legal to toke up, as long as a user is 21 or over and possesses no more than an ounce. driving under the influence of weed would still be illegal, as would lighting up in public.state sen. heather steans and state rep. kelly cassidy say the measure would create badly needed revenue for state government. steans says taxing pot in illinois would generate $350 million to






what is the future of recreational marijuana in trump's america?


it’s a movement charging ahead — for now.legalizing recreational marijuana is currently a priority in more than a dozen states as polls show overwhelming support and lawmakers see a way to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. so far, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis.but in recent weeks, the trump administration has alarmed some pot supporters by warning states that have legalized recreational marijuana — california, colorado and oregon, among them— that federal law enforcement agents could soon come after them.“i am definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” u.s. atty. gen. jeff sessions told reporters recently. (last year, sessions characterized marijuana as a “very real danger.”)here’s a look at the current state of marijuana in america:when






what is the future of recreational marijuana in trump's america?


it’s a movement charging ahead — for now.legalizing recreational marijuana is currently a priority in more than a dozen states as polls show overwhelming support and lawmakers see a way to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. so far, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis.but in recent weeks, the trump administration has alarmed some pot supporters by warning states that have legalized recreational marijuana — california, colorado and oregon, among them— that federal law enforcement agents could soon come after them.“i am definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” u.s. atty. gen. jeff sessions told reporters recently. (last year, sessions characterized marijuana as a “very real danger.”)here’s a look at the current state of marijuana in america:when






following the example of voters, legislatures are trying to legalize marijuana —


the path to legalizing pot often leads the same way: through the ballot box.eight states, including california, colorado and oregon, have passed voter-approved ballot measures legalizing the purchase and possession of marijuana for anyone 21 and older.but a new path toward legalization — lawmaker-inspired reforms — is emerging.the shift is, perhaps, a sign of lawmakers picking up on public opinion. a pew research center survey from october indicated 57% of americans support legalized marijuana, compared with 37% who want it to remain illegal. a similar pew survey in 2006 showed almost the opposite — 60% believed it should be illegal, compared with 32% who supported legalization.this trend also is reflected in many state-level polls, emboldening lawmakers enticed by, among other things, pos






colorado governor’s weed advice for california: focus on edibles, home grows, pe


colorado gov. john hickenlooper played sage to california on tuesday, warning lawmakers there's a "steep hill" ahead in legalizing recreational marijuana.






christie hammers backers of legalizing marijuana in nj, calls it ‘beyond stupidi


princeton — gov. chris christie on monday unleashed a diatribe against the increasing push to legalize recreational marijuana in new jersey, warning that it’s “not time for us to be cool and say, ‘pot’s o.k.'” “this is beyond stupidity,” the republican governor, who has long been opposed to legalizing marijuana, said during a speech at a…






marijuana legalization gets support with murphy’s win


trenton, n.j. (ap) — proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in new jersey say phil murphy’s win tuesday night will pave the way for pot legislation.nj.com reports democrat phil murphy defeated republican lt. gov. kim guadagno to succeed term-limited gov. chris christie. murphy is a strong supporter of legalizing and taxing marijuana. the governor-elect has highlighted an estimated $300 million in tax revenue from legal pot that he says could help fund education programs and public worker pensions.democratic state sen. nicholas scutari, the sponsor of a recreational cannabis bill, says murphy is fully committed to legalizing marijuana. democratic senate president steve sweeney hopes to pass the measure as soon as the new governor gets situated.scutari says he will continue to meet






how is canada legalizing marijuana?


next year canada will hit a high no other g7 country has reached: legalizing marijuana as a recreational drug. fulfilling a campaign promise, prime minister justin trudeau’s liberal party passed a bill easing restrictions in march—the drug has been available for specialized medical use from dispensaries in several canadian provinces, including british columbia and alberta, since…






vermont legislature becomes first in u.s. to legalize marijuana for recreational


to date, eight states — including california, colorado and nevada — have legalized recreational marijuana, but have done so through voter-approved ballot measures.






las vegas gets recreational weed this weekend


if there was ever any doubt, las vegas is set to further solidify its reputation as a party town this weekend, with one state senator saying it will be like “amsterdam on steroids” after sales of cannabis for recreational use begin on saturday. the state of nevada voted on november 8 in favor of legalizing weed…






vermont governor vetoes marijuana legalization bill: “we must get this right”


vermont gov. phil scott says he still hasn't decided whether he will allow the state to legalize recreational marijuana, but he will either sign or veto a bill on his desk by wednesday.






governor phil scott vetoes marijuana bill in vermont


vermont would have become the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana and the first to do so through the legislature rather than by a public vote. however, phil scott, the governor of vermont, rejected the marijuana bill wednesday as he wanted further changes in it, according to a press release. scott, a republican, told reporters he…






vermont legislature approves marijuana legalization bill


vermont lawmakers on wednesday approved a measure to legalize recreational use of marijuana, which if not vetoed by the governor would make the state the ninth to legalize the drug and the first to do so by legislation rather than ballot initiative.the u.s. state’s house of representatives, by a 79-66 vote, approved the measure, which was attached to a bill increasing penalties for the possession and sale of the opioid drug fentanyl. the state’s senate passed the measure, which will take effect in july 2018 and allow adults 21 and over to buy and use the drug, last week in a 20-9 vote.governor phil scott, a republican, has not yet said if he will veto the measure. his spokeswoman, rebecca kelley, told vermont public radio on tuesday that he was still reviewing the bill and had some concern






vermont governor vetoes marijuana bill, wants changes made


montpelier, vt. (ap) — republican gov. phil scott said wednesday that he planned to veto a bill making vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana but indicated that he was willing to work with the legislature on a compromise.scott said he is sending the bill back with suggestions for another path forward and suggested that changes could be made to the bill in a special session this summer.“we must get this right,” scott said. “i think we need to move a little bit slower.”the governor has said he’s not philosophically opposed to marijuana legalization but has concerns about public safety, children’s health and impaired drivers.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.under the legislation, small amounts of marijuana would have been legal to possess and grow






backers of pot legalization hope for compromise in vermont


montpelier, vt. — supporters of a bill vetoed by republican gov. phil scott that would have legalized marijuana in vermont said thursday that they are hopeful that a compromise on the legislation can be reached next month, but lawmakers aren't so confident.on wednesday, republican gov. phil scott vetoed the bill, saying he was sending it back to the legislature with recommendations for changes, such as more aggressive penalties for smoking pot while driving or in the presence of children and clearer and tougher penalties for selling and dispensing marijuana to minors.eight other states, plus the district of columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana. all did it through a referendum. vermont's bill would have legalized possession and cultivation of small amounts of pot for adults."ther






illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana


lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year.sponsors introduced bills wednesday that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.the state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said.the measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants.the bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce wholesale, plus the state's standard 6.25 percent sales tax.based on sales of recreational marijuana in colorado, the marijuana policy project, a national ad






illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana


lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year.sponsors on wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.the state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and it would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said.the measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants.the bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce wholesale, plus the state's standard 6.25 percent sales tax.based on sales of recreational marijuana in colorado, the marijuana policy project, a natio






illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana


lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year.sponsors on wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.the state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and it would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said.the measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants.the bills propose taxing marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce wholesale, plus the state's standard 6.25 percent sales tax.based on sales of recreational marijuana in colorado, the marijuana policy project, a natio






preckwinkle backs putting marijuana legalization question to voters


cook county board president toni preckwinkle signaled her support tuesday for an advisory referendum on whether recreational marijuana use should be made legal.preckwinkle, a longtime advocate for reducing the focus on the decadeslong war on drugs to concentrate more on violent crime, backs legalizing recreational marijuana in general as well as putting a referendum on the 2018 ballot, spokesman frank shuftan said.legalization would require changing state law, something that has been proposed by democratic lawmakers but isn’t expected to surface again in springfield until next year at the earliest.“we understand the springfield piece will be a more lengthy and potentially complicated process,” shuftan said.shuftan made his comments after commissioners john fritchey and luis arroyo jr., bot






illinois lawmakers ponder proposal to legalize marijuana


as the czar of colorado's marijuana program, barbara brohl says she is neither pro- nor anti-pot.but she believes the legal market for the drug is eating into the black market, funding drug abuse treatment and prevention and providing a safer product.the roughly $200 million in tax revenue from more than $1 billion in sales last year funds all that, she says, plus provides $40 million for schools.brohl spoke wednesday to a panel of illinois lawmakers considering a proposal to make marijuana use legal in the state. while sponsors say the bill won't get a vote this legislative session, they're beginning a series of hearings on how to craft the law.as proposed, the law would allow possession of up to one ounce of pot by people 21 and over. driving under the influence would remain illegal, and






vermont awaits decision from governor on legalization of pot


montpelier, vt. (ap) — the future of legalized recreational marijuana use in vermont hinged thursday on a decision by republican gov. phil scott a day after the state legislature became the first in the country to vote to legalize it.scott hasn’t said whether he’ll sign the bill to make vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana, but he has said he wants to ensure the proposal addresses public safety needs, such as ways to counter drugged driving.“i’m going to review the bill as passed,” scott said wednesday. “but i’ve been pretty clear that i’d like to see some improvements to the bill to make sure we have structures in place that provide safety to vermonters.”other states that have approved recreational marijuana did so after voter referendums. vermonters are mixed on the






vermont commemorates civil unions with historic site marker


montpelier, vt. — vermont is commemorating its first-in-the-nation civil union law and subsequent marriage equality legislation with an historic site marker on its state house lawn.the marker was unveiled tuesday.vermont became the first state to grant legal recognition to same-sex couples with its civil union legislation in 2000.in 2009, state lawmakers passed marriage equality legislation. the u.s. supreme court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.republican gov. phil scott said "since its founding vermont has been a leader in protecting and furthering civil rights, embracing diversity and promoting tolerance."he says the marker will "fittingly celebrate vermont's commitment to advancing civil rights."it's the 240th commemorative marker to be placed in vermont.






will illinois legalize recreational marijuana?


the war on drugs has been going on for nearly half a century, and we have a winner: marijuana. back then, possession of pot carried heavy penalties in many states — even life imprisonment. today, 29 states and the district of columbia sanction medical use of cannabis and eight allow recreational use. legal weed has become about as controversial as powerball.one sign of the shift came in wednesday’s debate among the democrats running for governor of illinois. the state didn’t get its first medical marijuana dispensary until 2015, and it decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot only last year. but most of the candidates endorsed legalization of recreational weed and one supported “full decriminalization.”those positions are not politically risky, in illinois or in most places. they’






vermont man grew pot because he thought it'd be legal soon


st. albans, vt. — vermont police have arrested a man who acknowledged growing marijuana to prepare for possible statewide legalization of the drug.st. albans police say they came across michael marshall while investigating a hunting violation. marshall fled into a house after a confrontation with police, and then consented to a search of the residence. police say they then found and seized 13 full-grown marijuana plants and 27 smaller plants.police say marshall told them he thought marijuana would be legalized soon, so he wanted to get an early start on growing it for future sale.the possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in the state of vermont, but it is still illegal for recreational use.police issued marshall a citation to appear in court next month.






fountain valley moves to ban recreational marijuana businesses


the fountain valley city council took a step tuesday toward banning recreational marijuana-related businesses in town.the council voted 4-0, with member mark mccurdy abstaining, to approve the first reading of an ordinance to ban all commercial marijuana activity such as shops and delivery services, plus outdoor cultivation.the council must affirm the ban with a second vote at a later meeting for it to take effect.“since we anticipate other cities in orange county are actually going to allow commercialization, it might be a prudent approach for the council to take a step back and see what happens in the other cities first by issuing a ban now,” said colin burns, the city’s attorney. “and then if it works out in the other cities and people are happy with it, and there’s no secondary impacts






michigan, vermont, new jersey: the states trying to legalize marijuana in 2018


the marijuana movement is charging ahead.to date eight states — california, colorado, nevada to name a few — have legalized weed for recreational use since 2012. and the trend continues.this year, several states all across the country are looking to legalize and, in turn, rake in millions of dollars in tax revenue.even with the trump administration’s announcement last week that it would scrap an obama-era policy offering legal shelter for state-sanctioned marijuana sales, organizers and lawmakers are forging forward with legalization efforts.here are some of those states:vermontthis month the state is poised to make history, becoming the first to legalize marijuana through a legislative measure and not a state-approved ballot initiative.last week, lawmakers in the vermont house of represen






delaware panel continues to eye details of legalizing pot


dover, del. (ap) — a state task force is continuing to examine issues surrounding legalized recreational use of marijuana.while eight states and the district of columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana, each has done so through referendum, which delaware does not allow. that leaves the possibility that delaware could be the first state to implement legalization through the legislative process.but members of the task force, which holds its second meeting wednesday, say several issues need to be addressed before pot is legalized.those issues include public and workforce safety, insurance and liability issues, taxation and banking rules, and concerns about the long-term health effects of marijuana use.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.






brewers: outsiders shouldn't tap 'vermont' for beer names


montpelier, vt. — vermont brewers have a message for the rest of the industry: don't go describing a brew as a vermont beer if it's not from the green mountains.the vermont brewers association is taking issue with out-of-state brewers using "vermont" in the names and descriptions of their beer. one target is berkeley, california's fieldwork brewing, which produced a one-off beer described as a "vermont farmhouse ale."vermont is home to numerous respected craft breweries, including the alchemist, hill farmstead and magic hat.it also has a law designed to ensure that food-makers don't misuse the state's name as a marketing term. but that law doesn't cover beer.state rep. sam young said tuesday that the legislature may look at making a change to the rule next year.






as marijuana becomes legal in maine, governor seeks funding for rules


maine on monday be e the eighth u.s. state to legalize recreational marijuana use and the state’s republican governor called on lawmakers to approve funds to develop rules to oversee retail sales of the drug.the measure was narrowly approved by voters on nov. 8 to make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess and use marijuana, but did not take effect until monday.governor paul lepage, who opposed legalization, said he would order the state’s bureau of alcoholic beverages and lottery operations to hold off on formulating rules to govern the sale of the drug until the state’s legislature approved new funding. a measure approved by state lawmakers last week delayed the retail sales of the drug until february 2018.“the executive branch must be provided with the resources necessary to implem