Scott Plans Pot Commission to Examine Vermont Legalization | Off Message

Scott Plans Pot Commission to Examine Vermont Legalization


  • Luke Eastman
Gov. Phil Scott, who vetoed a marijuana legalization bill earlier this year, said on Monday that he will announce “in the next few days” the creation of a commission tasked with examining several issues surrounding legalization.

Scott, speaking to reporters after an unrelated event in Shelburne, declined to say who would lead or serve on the commission. Vermont legislators had hoped to create a panel that would make recommendations for how the state might tax and regulate marijuana. Scott said his focus, and the makeup of his panel, will be different.

The commission’s priority will be to look at highway safety, he said. Chief among his legalization concerns is that no convenient roadside test exists to measure a driver’s impairment from marijuana.

Scott said he expects the panel’s work to take about a 
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • Gov. Phil Scott
year, but that it could provide legislators with recommendations in the meantime.

The Republican governor vetoed a bill this spring that would have legalized adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana as of July 2018. The legislation would not have allowed for the legal sale of cannabis.

Scott had agreed to support a revised version of the bill, but efforts to advance that during a two-day veto session in June fell short. Scott said at the time he was likely to appoint a commission to study legalization-related issues further.

Legislative leaders have said they expect the revised bill to be considered when lawmakers return in January. Eight states have legalized the sale of marijuana.

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