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Backstory: Most Time Spent on Legislation That Went Nowhere

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FILE: LUKE EASTMAN
  • File: Luke Eastman

["Smoked: Why the Pot Legalization Bill Failed," May 11]

Gov. Peter Shumlin wanted Vermont lawmakers to legalize marijuana in 2016 — before any other New England states did. He found an ally in Senate Judiciary Committee chair Dick Sears (D-Bennington), who gave his committee an end-of-January deadline and rocketed a bill through the Senate by February 25.

But the House was never sold on the idea. Moving slower than a stoned nighttime driver on Route 2, members spent more time debating pot than on any other legislation — without producing a thing.

To refresh your medium-term memory, here's a history of last session's pot progress in headlines — all blog posts I wrote!

The pot debate will be back in 2017. Spurred by the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts and Maine, House Judiciary Committee chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) said she's more open to the idea. Now it's governor-elect Phil Scott who is sounding reluctant.