Vermont officially became the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis yesterday, joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Gov. Phil Scott (R-Vt.) signed H. 511 into law back in January, saying: "I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children."
This is the first time a state has legalized pot via a bill in the legislature rather than a ballot initiative. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has praised Vermont's governor and lawmakers for "responding to the will of the voters, rather than choosing to ignore them."
As in the other eight states (and the District of Columbia) that have decided to allow recreational weed, Vermont has enacted some very specific regulations for the newly legal substance. Not all the rules are clear yet, but here are some things Vermonters can be sure of:
Vermonters can posses up to one ounce of cannabis and two mature plants. The substance is not eligible for sale.
Pot is only for adults aged 21 or older. There will be strict penalties for selling to minors.
Where and when?
Consumption is allowed on private property but is expressly prohibited in public. Schools, employers, municipalities, and landlords are allowed to put their own restrictions into place. There is also a note against smoking at Lake Champlain, as it is currently considered to be federal waters.
Vermonters are also prohibited from operating motor vehicles while under the influence, especially when a child is present. Both the driver and the passengers are prohibited from smoking inside of a vehicle.
There are strict penalties for possessing cannabis on school grounds.