Marijuana Legalization Bill Hits Vermont Governor's Desk | Off Message

Marijuana Legalization Bill Hits Vermont Governor's Desk


  • Luke Eastman
Gov. Phil Scott has until the end of the day next Wednesday to decide whether to sign into law a bill that would legalize possession of marijuana.

Senate Secretary John Bloomer delivered the bill, S.22, to the governor's office Thursday morning. By law, the governor has five days to respond. Saturday counts but Sunday doesn't.

The first-term Republican governor indicated Wednesday that he doesn't know whether he will sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

He said that while he is not philosophically opposed to legalizing possession of marijuana, he has concerns about highway safety and youth access to the drug. "I have to do what I think is right for the state throughout from a public safety standpoint," he said.

The bill would legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and home-growing of up to two mature plants per household starting in July 2018. It would not legalize the sale or commercial growing of marijuana.

Those for and against legalization have been lobbying Scott hard. A group of medical professionals and others held a Statehouse news conference Thursday urging him to veto the bill.