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Scott Ready To Sign Off On Legalizing Possession, Cultivation Of Marijuana

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie
/
VPR
Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Gov. Phil Scott told Vermont Edition Friday that he will support efforts to legalize the personal possession of marijuana in the opening weeks of the 2018 legislative session.

Calling it a "libertarian approach," Scott says he is ready to sign off on legislation that would allow individuals to possess up to an ounce of the drug as well as grow several plants. 

Scott backed a similar plan last spring, but House Republicans used procedural tactics to delay consideration of the proposal. Scott says his position on the proposal hasn't changed in the intervening months.

"I made that commitment," Scott said. "That was something that I was comfortable doing." 

Scott said the state needs to take a comprehensive look at the issue of driver impairment—whether from alcohol, marijuana, heroin or prescription drugs—before he would support any plan that calls for the sale of pot in state-regulated stores in Vermont. 

"We have to come up with a way to determine impairment on our highways, regardless of what the substance is," Scott says. 

A special marijuana task force is scheduled to release it's driver impairment recommendations in the middle of January.

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