- 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!
- "Senate Revises Marijuana Bill, Moves it to the House," February 25
- "A Divided House Judiciary Committee Ponders the Pot Bill," March 16
- "Shumlin Disses Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Plan," March 28
- "House Panel May Write Its Own Marijuana Bill," April 5
- "House Considers Decriminalizing Small-Scale Pot Cultivation," April 7
- "House Panel Backs Scaled-Back Marijuana Bill," April 8
- "House Panel Puts Marijuana Legalization Back in Play," April 15
- "In Stealth Move, Senate Sends Pot Legalization Back to House," April 27
- "Vermont House to Vote on Marijuana Legalization After All," April 29
- "House Poised to Vote on Decriminalizing Homegrown Pot," May 2
- "House Defeats Senate Marijuana Legalization Bill," May 3
- "House Douses Marijuana Legalization, Cultivation," May 3
- "Bid for Marijuana Legalization Referendum Fails in Senate," May 5
- "Lawmakers Plan Off-Session Marijuana Discussions," May 6
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.