The Vermont House has rejected a legalisation proposal, scuttling the hopes for reform after the Senate voted for legalization earlier this year.
If the bill has passed, Vermont would have been the first state to legalize through the legislature, rather than by the popular vote at the ballot box.
The Vermont House voted 121-28 to reject a marijuana legalization bill, which was passed by the state Senate at the urging of Governor Peter Shumlin in February. The bill would have legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana for those 21 and older, but it was more restrained than legalization ballot initiatives in many ways: It wouldn’t have legalized edibles, wouldn’t have allowed for home cultivation, and legal sales wouldn’t go into effect until 2018.
Several members said that they supported legalization, but not this particular bill, particularly over the lack of provisions for home cultivation which many in the state felt was a right that should have been extended in the original bill.
Others, like state representative Christopher Pearson, said prohibition had failed, and it was time to move forward.
“Constituents want to know: Why do we sit and enjoy delicious Vermont beer and frown on cannabis use?” he asked.
The House also voted 52-97 to reject a proposal to put marijuana legalisation to a referendum in the August primary ballot.
The House also rejected a proposal to decriminalise possession of 2 ounces and cultivation of up to two plants.