Four states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, but all four did so through citizen-proposed and voter-approved initiatives that bypassed lawmakers. In Vermont — as in 26 other states — voters can’t change the law directly. A new group aims to make Vermont the first state to legalize marijuana through its elected officials.
The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana held a press conference Tuesday to announce its creation and intent. The group — made up of concerned organizations and individuals — wants to end marijuana prohibition in Vermont and replace it with a regulated and taxed system similar to alcohol. With a receptive legislature and governor, 2015 might be the year.
“Vermonters are ready to end marijuana prohibition,” said Matt Simon, New England political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, in a press release.