Bill Lofy

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Story + Video: Legal pot discussion commences, but support is in question

https://youtu.be/4DN0PvMdnmc

MONTPELIER — Advocates of legalizing marijuana in Vermont are touting new supporters and the potential benefit to Vermont’s economy as State House discussions on legalization commence. The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana held a State House news conference Tuesday to tout the support of former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney’s support for legalizing pot this year. The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently reviewing two bills that would do just that. The effort to legalize marijuana received a boost from Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin last week when he announced in his State of the State address last week his willingness to sign a legalization bill this year. Shumlin said he would sign a bill if it ensures pot would stay out of the hands of underage people, has tax rates low enough to scuttle the black market, considers road safety and uses revenue for drug use prevention and addiction treatment. Continue Reading →

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Lawmakers mull how, not if, to legalize marijuana

MONTPELIER — Lawmakers are taking up a central question surrounding marijuana legalization, and that is not whether to legalize, but how to do it. The Senate Government Operations Committee took testimony Tuesday from a very one-sided selection of members of the public who touched on questions surrounding licensing, distribution and retail sales, but not if cannabis should be legalized in the first place. During the last legislative session, the committee spent its Friday afternoons combing through a 150-page study from the Rand Corp. — commissioned by the state and released in January — that looked at legalization, from the number of users in the state to potential revenue and the impact on tourism. Committee Chairwoman Jeanette White, D-Windham, acknowledged from the start of Tuesday’s hearings that the question of whether marijuana should be legalized will not rest with her committee, but with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Continue Reading →

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