On Monday (1/22) Vermont became the ninth U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use on Monday. Republican Governor Phil Scott signed a bill passed by the legislature earlier this month,
Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511.”
The law legalizes marijuana possession of up to 1 ounce, two mature plants, and up to four immature plants. No one under 21 may possess marijuana and the new law does not trade in the drug. Governor Scott noted that he vetoed the earlier version of the bill that would have allowed sales of the marijuana.
Eight other states have legalized marijuana use as a result of voter initiatives. What makes this law unique is that the law was passed through legislation and not by ballot initiative. Vermont is one of 23 states in the nation that don’t allow ballot initiatives.
The Law Needs Work
The law contains some tricky use of the word “or” that confuses the issue.
Also: In some places the law says an adult may possess two mature plants or four immature plants. In other places the law says an adult may possess two mature and four immature plants.
Also also: The law mentions “hashish” but makes no mention of edibles, topicals, concentrates like shatter or wax (is “hashish” a catchall?), vape oil, tinctures, or any other common cannabis products. The use of “hashish” makes it seem like the legislators who wrote the law time-traveled to the 1970s to learn about cannabis.” – Leafly
Leafly went through the final language of the bill and come up with the handy guide.
The new law:
- Removes all criminal and civil penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, or more than five grams of hashish, for persons 21 years of age or older. As the law is written, it’s unclear whether this is an either/or situation—in other words, whether you can possess both an ounce of flower and five grams of hash, or whether you’re limited to an ounce or five grams and cannot possess both.
- Does not allow for the commercial cultivation and/or sale of cannabis to persons 21 years of age or older. Vermont’s law is strictly a homegrow, personal-use law as it stands now. The law does, however, mandate that the state make plans to adopt a “comprehensive regulatory structure for legalizing and licensing the marijuana market.” The Governor’s Marijuana Advisory Commission has been directed to report on such a system by Dec. 15, 2018.
- Legalizes the possession of paraphernalia for cannabis use for persons 21 years of age or older.
- Legalizes the cultivation of two mature cannabis plants or four immature plants, for anyone 21 years of age or older. “Immature” means a female plant that has not flowered and does not have visible buds. Those plants must be in an enclosure screened from public view and secure so that access is limited to the cultivator. The cultivation limit applies to each dwelling, regardless of how many residents 21 or older reside in the dwelling. So: One house, two mature plants, period. The law is clear that these plants may be possessed in addition to the one ounce of cannabis flower. The law is not clear about whether a person may possess two mature plants and four immature plants—again with the “or” problem in the law’s language. In some of the law’s sections, two mature or four immature plants may be possessed. In other sections, two mature andfour immature plants may be possessed. Read the rest here.
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