The timing of the Vermont House decision to pass a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults was just a little awkward.
Just before the bill was voted on last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions publicly rescinded the Cole Memorandum, a set of guidelines put forth by the Department of Justice in 2013. They instructed federal prosecutors in states that legalized marijuana not to focus federal resources on people complying with their state laws.
That was reason enough to put off a vote in the Vermont House, some argued, but in the end it passed by a tally of 81-63. Following Wednesday’s passage in the Senate, the bill heads to Gov. Phil Scott who is expected to sign it into law.
The bill would eliminate the civil penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature plants or four immature plants starting in July.
A task force appointed by Scott will issue a report by Dec, 15, on