The decision was taken by the Judiciary Committee of the Vermont Senate voted 4 -1 Friday to advance a measure that would enable residents to possess up to an ounce of pot.
The bill now moves to the full Senate and, if passed, will continue onto the House and eventually to Gov. Peter Shumlin — who has said that he supports the measure and hopes that Vermont will approve legalization through the legislative process, rather than wait for a voter referendum.
The bill in its current form would allow Vermonters to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries, but does not legalize homegrown cannabis.
“To proponents, it doesn’t go far enough, but there are provisions in the bill that will keep the conversation moving forward to discuss their concerns,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “To opponents, the bill goes too far, but if you read the language of this 50-plus page bill you will see that virtually all concerns have been taken into account in a way that enables us to get hold of larger concerns.”