Crash and Burn in Burlington: How Legalization Failed in Vermont

 In Legalization, Local News

Six weeks ago, cannabis legalization seemed destined to pass in Vermont. With the backing of Gov. Peter Shumlin, the state Senate approved a legalization bill and sent it on to the House. There it slowed, then stalled, and then finally died. Earlier this week the House overwhelmingly voted down the proposal.

What happened?

Matt Simon, political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, paused in the hallway of the Vermont Statehouse last week to consider the difficulty of passing cannabis legalization in New England.

“Getting policy through two houses of the Legislature, there’s always something that can go wrong,” he said. “All it takes is one committee to throw it off the rails.”

While Simon has been trying to pass a marijuana legalization bill through the House and Senate in Burlington, fellow activists in Maine and Massachusetts have been placing legalization measures on November ballot initiatives.


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