Vermont Becomes the Ninth State to Legalize Adult Marijuana Possession and Personal Cultivation

Vermont Legalizes MarijuanaRepublican Gov. Phil Scott has signed legislation (H. 511) into law legalizing the use and cultivation of marijuana by adults. Vermont is the ninth state to statutorily permit adults to possess marijuana for personal use, and it is the first state to enact these reforms via legislative action rather than by the passage of a voter-initiated ballot measure.

“The majority of Vermonters, like the majority of the American public, desire to live in a community where responsible adults who choose to consume cannabis are no longer criminalized or stigmatized,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Governor Scott should be recognized for helping to provide Vermonters with a path forward at a time when many elected officials elsewhere are clinging to the failed policies of the past.”

The forthcoming law, which takes effect on July 1 of this year, eliminates civil penalties specific to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and also removes criminal penalties with regard to the private cultivation of six marijuana plants (two mature and up to four immature). Those who cultivate marijuana for their own personal use may possess at home the total quantity of their harvest.

The measure also imposes new civil penalties for consuming cannabis while driving, and imposes additional penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle impaired with a minor in the vehicle.

The Governor vetoed similar legislation in 2017, but had consistently indicated since then that he was willing to reconsider his position.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia have also legalized marijuana use by adults.

34 thoughts

  1. Governor Scott did the right thing. I am happy for the people of Vermont. Other states shou
    ld also legalize home cultivation for personal use asap. All the criminals in law enforcement can now focus their efforts on something other than scamming the hard working citizens. Prohibition has been a government conspiracy since cannabis prohibition was enacted.

  2. Spark it up!

    This is the pivoting point we’ve been waiting for fellow regulators.

    Our nation’s first legislatively enacted depenalization for possession and cultivation of marijuana will forever change the Constitutionality of pending federal court cases involving marijuana. None so much as Washington v. Sessions, which I tirelessly point out can and must use this historic legislation as evidence during oral arguments this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th.

    Tom Angell breaks down the potential for Gov. Scott to proceed with a legal market;

    Of course, New Jersey’s new governor is much more friendly to the idea and beat Vermont to the chase now that the prohibitionist grimace Chris Christi is taking the long line through airport security.

    Make no mistake… this Vermont law is worth celebrating. Sessions has renewed fear of our federal courts… and Im not just talking about the Grand Jury that is about to get Trump under oath…

  3. Vermont would make 10… 9 states + DC = 10

    [Paul Armentano responds: The District of the Columbia is not a state.]

    1. Yup. American Citizens in the District of Columbia have no valid vote. They may be represented by Eleanour Holmes Norton to help guide us through Congress for locally legalizing marijuana, but her vote doesn’t count because D.C. isnt a state. And this is America.

  4. Each one of these legalization victories has immediate, positive consequences — specifically, the ongoing marijuana arrests that now will NOT happen!

    Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Credit goes to the Vermont state legislators! Politicians working on behalf their constituents? Imagine that!

    Thank you, activists, for doing the heavy lifting!

  5. NH what’s the issue? New Hampshire LE still wants to incarcerate everyone and confiscate cash and weed for their own use. Take this out of their hands- NH law enforcement is crooked as the day is long.

  6. All of the U.S. will now be high smoking the drug. What has these politicians done. Probably because most of them smoke the weed themselves. How did it come down to this?? What is our country turning into a bunch of hippies!! Marijuana is a drug, it is not a recreation like bike riding or jogging or going camping. This country is going to the immigrants and to the pot smokers, shame on us and shame on these politicians we have voted into office.

    1. @ Ron,
      Will you start smoking pot, just because it is legal? Is The Law the only thing that is stopping you from “turning into a hippie?” Or, would you continue to live by your own values, even if it was legal, and continue to make those decisions for yourself?

      Do you think you are psychologically superior to other people? Do you think everyone except for you is a latent hippie, restrained solely by law?

      Har De Har! You don’t understand hippies, then!

      If you can choose for yourself, why shouldn’t other people have the same rights as you?

      Don’t be so goddamn judgemental.

    2. Ron, calm down & smoke a doob. You’ll feel better. Alcohol is also a drug & people act a lot worse under the influence of it than they do on cannabis. This has been a long time coming & it’s a wonderful thing. Now they just need to start retail sales so the state can benefit from the tax money.

    3. Good morning Ron; Your comment blatantly shows your lack of Knowledge and your political affiliation. The words you used, Hippies, drug, immigrants and Pot Smokers echo’s the rhetoric from the POTUS’s A G the Keebler Elf. Thank God that the people of the United States have finally been educated so as not to be misled by the Reefer Madness and outright lies fed to them since the 1930’s. You are either completely Ignorant or a troll for Kevin Sabet.

    4. Ron, are you putting us on? Surely, you jest and you are just trying to get a rise out of everyone, right? You can’t be serious. All kidding aside, reefer madness prohibition is no joke. It shatters lives and destroys dreams. It protects black market cartels, and feeds the prison industrial complex. If you are not joking, Ron, then the joke is really on you.

  7. So there will be no recreational stores, but if you grow you can have whatever the yield is legally?
    It sounds great, but there should be a provision in there that specifically states they are going to regulate and sell it like alcohol.
    Cool law, just a bit different than I was expecting.

  8. Congrats to Vermont! New England is turning green. The GOP Gov did the right thing–now I know that wonders will never cease.

  9. So my question is “What is considered an adult for Marijuana use. Since drinking as an adult at ages 18-20 is not legal even though adults, confusing as that is plain and simple discrimation against age…. An adult is an adult, yes or no. marijuana legal then so should drinking, or make it all age say 20 to vote, drink, smoke, or smoke dope,

  10. This is harm reduction. And that’s a good thing.

    The first priority is to stop the arrests. Arrest and criminality is the first threat to medical marijuana patients, other than their own medical problems.

    So now, the money-grubbers can fight over the profits made on the backs of sick and ailing patients. Republican Governor Phil Scott has nixed dispensaries, a dick move which hurts patients. Thanks, asshole!

    I don’t really give a fuck one way or the other about benefits to Corporate America, or tax revenue for the government. But patients need a safe, reliable place to buy weed. They need dispensaries. It is heartless and unreasonable to expect an ailing medical marijuana patient to have the time and resources to buy grow lights and seeds and to learn to be a farmer.

    Wonderful news, overall. But, as usual, it is Republican intransigence is fucking things up.

    Fuck Trump and his Republicans!

  11. I’m very happy for them and NJ better be the 10th. We are tired of waiting on unfulfilled promises made by ELECTED officials.

  12. Another benefit from this action in Vermont I had forgotten about but kept at heart is how encouraged other state legislatures will become as Vermont courageously tests the waters of our federal courts, tests this hostile and treasonous administration and federal Congress. Particularly we here in Texas and other states without voter initiatives can and will use this momentum during the 2019 legislative session.

    What I would really love to see is a federal judge grant 12-year-old Texan Alexis Bortell her 1st amendment right to travel to Texas next year and testify in the Health Committee to legalize whole plant mmj for all doses and strains. Sessions won’t have words or actions to sway the jury much less the committee from her testimony.

    Reading the news this morning about a tsunami warning in Alaska, the government sent a text message to people stating “Tsunami warning…” ending in “just go high.” I chuckled. Is that the warning we should be sending the Trump administration? “Green and Blue Tsunami approaching! Just go High!” (Damn, Im using that on my next marijuana march sign…)

    But they just dont get it. AG Sessions continues to attack our FBI… WHILE HE himself is under investigation! Glad to see the FBI standing up for themselves… but I wonder… have we become so jaded with hubris from propaganda and technology that the only ones to survive this “Green and Blue Tsunami” will be the people who take warning not only from electronic message but from their own heart and instincts? When birds are flocking to shore and the water is receding, will this administration stand before the tsunami in disbelief… awaiting distant orders from a dark Russian city far away from the danger that bates them with their own greed to deny their own demise?

  13. HAHa!!!

    Sessions got DEPOSED by Mueller!

    We were wondering if this was the reason why Sessions didn’t crack down on us after the shutdown!

    MM! MM! MMMMN!!! This $#!+ is gettin GOOD now!
    The Keebler Elf just crawled into his wicked little Keebler tree to hide from the great Orange Menace that’s about to SQUEEEZE the Keebler right OUT of his little Keebler EARS!!
    But try as Drumph might to find out how ol Keebler spilled the dough, the one whose got all the answers now is Mueller.

    Howz that old song by Def Leppard go?

    “TOO LATE!

  14. what does this mean ????

    1. The measure also imposes new civil penalties for consuming cannabis WHILE driving,

    2. and imposes additional penalties for those who operate a motor vehicle IMPARED…

    re; 1.; WHILE DRIVING;
    i agree.
    smoke all you want,
    THEN drive.
    NOT at the same time.

    just like texting WHILE driving,
    or using a cell phone WHILE driving,
    can be dangerous.

    do it FIRST;
    then go drive safely.
    multiple studies show pot smokers drive more carefully, than other drivers do.

    re; 2.; operating a motor vehicle while IMPARED…

    i agree.

    BUT !!!!

    “IMPAREMENT” from marijuana only occurs in NOVICE SMOKERS.

    long time smokers, present NO DANGER.

    if they mean ANYTHING,
    OTHER than that,
    i dissagree.

    people drive on prescription drugs that are WAY STRONGER THAN MARIJUANA,
    every day,
    and they do not face automatic arrest for this.

  15. Great news! Another domino falls..

    I don’t like how they aren’t setting up a framework for stores; similar to DC. I dunno it just seems it’s encouraging a black market if it’s legal and you can grow it but nowhere to buy it? But certainly a step in the right direction and better than the status quo!


    Even the WAPO is focusing on the contraversy that Vermont’s legislative marijuana law has no legal market (yet)… and sails passed the real story of how Federal Courts, Federal Congress and the entire Federal Controlled Substances Act will be affected from here on out by legislatively enacted state law.

    C’mon WAPO and Times! Do your job. Or does NORML have to get a press pass?

  17. Hey NewYork lets get it together I can see all those tax dollars going over the bridge to jersey and mass. and possibly soon to conn. It will be worth the fuel cost for a short run to not have to pay black market prices .everything thats in calif and colorado is available on the streets of n.y. just at outrageous prices wouldnt it be nice to see all those tax dollars here instead

  18. It’s slowly but surly trickling down to us in Pennsylvania. I can’t wait to supply at least some of my own. As it is right now, I believe it’s a felony (5)years I believe. Just for growing a plant, “Cultivation
    Any number of plants Felony 2.5 – 5 years $ 15,000”

    All that harshness and punishment over a plant.

    You just hang it to dry for awhile, until it’s dry enough to smoke. Of course you trim the leaves around the bud first. But the point is, they’re the same as tobacco in one way. They are both dried and smoked.


    The big difference is in the chemicals found in the two. There’s 7000 chemicals in tobacco. Most fave been to cause cancer. There’s 600 chemicals in cannabis, nearly none known to cause cancer. However, it has been proven there’s chemicals in cannabis that can actually fight cancer. Of course there’s the CBD which when higher concentrations are used, fights cancer even better. But the THC can be very therapeutic. It can treat depression, as I’ve found myself. I don’t really need my pills on it.

    Anyways… Way To Go Vermont.

    1. Meant to say tobacco causes cancer. And cannabis cures it. Yet cannabis is illegal?

      Sorry man.

  19. This will stop the arrests of thousands! This will produce a growing economy. This is the best news I have heard in the 55 years I have been on this planet..

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