Legalization takes a step back as Vermont votes against

Posted on May 04 2016

Legalization in the US takes a step back today as The House in Vermont rejected several bills aimed at either legalising or decriminalising marijuana. 

The state had been touted as the most likely to legalize this year after the Vermont Senate voted through a legalization bill earlier this year. The bill would have allowed people to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower without any penalty.

Unfortunately, when the bill went to the House, it was voted against by a somewhat large majority. If the bill had passed, then Vermont would have been the first state in the US to legalise through the legislature and not through a popular referendum by voters, signalling a large shift in policy making decisions in the US.

The reasons for the rejection of the bill were many. Some people were just against legalization and supported continued prohibition. Some thought that the bill disallowing people to grow cannabis at home was an affront to the overall nature of rights and personal freedom in Vermont, and said they would happily vote for a bill that allowed people to grow at home. 

The decriminalisation bill, that would have decriminalised personal possession under 2 ounces and two plants very narrowly got voted down too. It is unlikely that any more bills on marijuana will be seen this year in the legislature in Vermont, which means the momentum of legislative change on marijuana in the US has been stalled somewhat.

Not to fear though, many other states are going to popular ballot this year and the tide of marijuana legalization in the US is unlikely to turn back any time soon. Almost 60% of Americans now support marijuana legalisation for recreational use in the US. Even though the politicians may be behind the times, ballot initiatives will continue to push forward meaning more Americans can enjoy their right to private consumption without being criminalized.



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