Legislative committee to look at marijuana ahead of 2017 session

 In Legalization, Local News, Medical Marijuana, MMJ, News, Recreational Marijuana

BENNINGTON — A local state senator hopes the Vermont House will take up some form of marijuana legalization bill this coming session.

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, said Tuesday that the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee will hold extra meetings this year to discuss numerous issues surrounding marijuana, among them the availability of medical marijuana.

Normally, the committee meets six times during the political “off-season” to discuss various issues related to the judiciary, but these extra six sessions will be solely devoted to marijuana related topics, said Sears, who is the committee’s chairman.

The first meeting will be at the State House in Montpelier on Sept. 12 and will focus on the history of marijuana and its legal status. Sears said future meetings will concern things like access to medical marijuana and screening for DUI.

Last session, the Senate passed a legalization bill, but it was defeated in the House. Sears said he feels there was a great deal of miscommunication going around about the bill, and that the anti-legalization camp found an ally in those who were pro-legalization but who were not happy with the Senate’s proposed regulations on cultivation and sale.

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