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Vermont Legislature
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

As Scott Reviews New Legalization Bill, Legislation Gains Key Support In House

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie
House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Maxine Grad now supports a marijuana legalization bill that includes compromise language from the Senate. Gov. Phil Scott is examining the details to see if it meets his concerns about driver impairment.

A new marijuana legalization plan has gotten some important support at the Statehouse, with House Judiciary Committee chairwoman Maxine Grad now backing the bill.

The legislation adopts the House approach that allows individuals to possess up to an ounce of pot and grow two plants. It also would create a special commission that will study a state regulated system.

Any recommendations of the commission will be subject to legislative approval next winter.

Grad said Tuesday she supports the new bill because it embraces the House approach.

“I think it’s a good compromise because first, H-170 [the original House bill] will be kept intact,” she said.

And Grad said the commission will study important public safety issues.

“It will help inform us as to the best way that can be done, and the best way to move forward, if at all,” she said.

The full House could vote on the bill on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the Scott Administration is reviewing the plan to see if it addresses the governor's public safety concerns.

Throughout the session, Gov. Phil Scott has expressed concern about people driving under the influence of marijuana. 

"He would want to ensure that key public safety and public health questions were answered,” said Rebecca Kelley, Scott's communications director. “The bill has evolved over the last several weeks, so we would want to take a closer look at it to see whether or not it addresses those questions,” said Kelley.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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