Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice memo, which directed federal prosecutors to lay off cannabis charges in states where activity is legal. This has effectively opened the doors for officials to pursue legal action against operations per the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, even though they are abiding state laws.
That isn’t stopping states, though, from pressing forward with marijuana legalization.
Vermont is the latest state to make recreational marijuana legal for adult use, joining California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. But what makes Vermont unique is that this is the first recreational marijuana law passed through legislation rather than a ballot initiative, according to a report from Huffington Post. This was necessary, however, because the state does have a system for voting on such measures.Also different, Vermont’s law does not speak to sales, other than re-enforcing that sales are illegal to those under the age of 21, or setting up a regulated market.
Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed House Bill 511 into law, which eliminates punishment for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and up to four immature plants. The governor cited his belief that adults should be free to do what they want on private property, so long as it does not endanger the health or safety of others.
Scott vetoed a similar bill last year, ordering a committee be formed to research cannabis markets and how they might affect …