Scott to veto pot legalization bill

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he will veto a marijuana legalization bill sent to him by lawmakers for technical reasons but will reconsider signing it if lawmakers make some changes during a veto session next month.

Scott’s announcement Wednesday ends days of speculation about the bill’s fate, but opens the door to even more intense lobbying and campaigning in the weeks leading up to the June 21 veto session.

Scott, a first-term Republican was facing a midnight deadline. His five days of consideration were about to end after receiving the bill from the Legislature last week. He faced three options — sign it into law, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

The bill, S.22, would legalize the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana, two mature marijuana plants and four immature plants. Legalization would not take effect until July 1, 2018, however.

Scott faced intense pressure from opponents and proponents since lawmakers passed the bill earlier this month. The governor’s office has been flooded with calls and email messages, mostly from proponents urging him to sign the bill. A number of newspaper editorial boards also urged Scott to sign the bill.

This story will be updated.

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