Spotlight

Marijuana legalization is a complex issue that is being debated across the United States. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law and listed as a schedule I drug,1 many states are exploring ways to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Twenty-three states, including Vermont, have laws that permit medical marijuana use.2 Vermont, like several other states, has decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana.3 Additionally, four states and the District of Columbia have recently passed laws that allow recreational use and a for-profit commercial marijuana industry.4 Vermont, like several other states, is considering the legalization of marijuana and weighing implications. A comprehensive report that outlines the potential consequences of legalizing marijuana in Vermont was released in early 2015 (“RAND report”). 5 The RAND report is the result of a legislative directive to the Secretary of Administration to analyze taxation and regulation of marijuana in Vermont.6 Following the release of the report, public debate about legalization of marijuana has picked up,7 and a bill was introduced in the state Senate during the 2015 legislative session that would create a system for taxation and regulation of recreational marijuana.8 The Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee met outside of the legislative session in 2015 to discuss how legal marijuana should be regulated in the state, and produced a draft bill to be introduced during the 2016 legislative session.

Spotlight

Marijuana legalization is a complex issue that is being debated across the United States. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law and listed as a schedule I drug,1 many states are exploring ways to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. Twenty-three states, including Vermont, have laws that permit medical marijuana use.2 Vermont, like several other states, has decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana.3 Additionally, four states and the District of Columbia have recently passed laws that allow recreational use and a for-profit commercial marijuana industry.4 Vermont, like several other states, is considering the legalization of marijuana and weighing implications. A comprehensive report that outlines the potential consequences of legalizing marijuana in Vermont was released in early 2015 (“RAND report”). 5 The RAND report is the result of a legislative directive to the Secretary of Administration to analyze taxation and regulation of marijuana in Vermont.6 Following the release of the report, public debate about legalization of marijuana has picked up,7 and a bill was introduced in the state Senate during the 2015 legislative session that would create a system for taxation and regulation of recreational marijuana.8 The Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee met outside of the legislative session in 2015 to discuss how legal marijuana should be regulated in the state, and produced a draft bill to be introduced during the 2016 legislative session.

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