Vermont became the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana after Governor Phil Scott signed the bill on Monday.
Vermont is the first state in the United States which passes the recreational marijuana law through its legislature rather than a ballot initiative.
“I personally believe that what adults do behind closed doors and on private property is their choice, so long as it does not negatively impact the health and safety of others, especially children,” Governor Scott said in a statement.
Under the legislation’s provisions, adults over 21 years old can possess up to an ounce of cannabis and grow two cannabis plants at home, but commercial sales are not allowed to operate in Vermont.
Consumption of marijuana in public places and driving under influence of marijuana are strictly prohibited.
Matt Simon, a marijuana advocate, cheered the new bill and said the move was a great step forward for the state and the whole region.
“Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to enjoy a safer option legally, and law enforcement will be free to concentrate on serious crimes with actual victims,” Scott added.
In the US, nine states including Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Maine and the District of Colombia have now legalized recreational use of marijuana.
However, US Attorney General Jeff Session earlier in January announced the Department of Justice would give federal prosecutors more scope to go after states and businesses in the legal weed trade.
More details to follow. Image 1 of cannabis from Business Insider.