Outreach - Marijuana

Update June 2nd 2017
The Governor has vetoed this bill. We will pulled back in session on June 21st to handle the veto.

********** end update **********

Update May 13th 2017
Last week S.22 came before the House for a vote.

This is a Senate bill that is about the same as House bill 170 described below. When H.170 came up for a vote in the House on May 3rd, I voted against it but it passed 75 to 71 . Here are the details:

R-Yea  3
R-Nay 50
D-Yea  63
D-Nay 16
R-Absent 0
D-Absent 3
Oth-Yea 9
Oth-Nay 5
Oth-Absent 0
Abstain 0
Not-Voting 1
That bill was then sent to the Senate.

The Senate Marijuana Bill S.22 came to the House on May 10th. This bill was essentially the same as H.170 but added the creation of a Commission that "shall develop legislation that establishes a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for an adult-use marijuana market that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health." And it moved the implementation of Vermont's legalization of the possession of a small amount of marijuana and the growing of 6 plants to July of 2018. The Commission develops legislation, but that legislation that would create a tax and regulate system for marijuana would still have to be approved by the regular legislative process. I voted against this bill. It passed 79 to 66. Here are the details:

R-Yea  3
R-Nay 48
D-Yea  65
D-Nay 16
R-Absent 2
D-Absent 1
Oth-Yea 11
Oth-Nay 2
Oth-Absent 1
Abstain 0
Not-Voting 1

End of May 13th Update

There are many important issues confronting Vermont legislators during this two-year session. This page is used to inform you of Representative Curt Taylor's thinking on those issues and the arguments he is considering in determining a position. Please contact Curt Taylor and share your thoughts and suggestions. This page may be updated with your input.

  • Marijuana Legalization - Last session a marijuana regulation and legalization bill passed the Vermont Senate but was so changed by the House that it was not sent to the Governor. It died. This session a very different marijuana bill has been proposed.  H.170 proposes to remove all criminal and civil penalties for possession of two ounces or less of marijuana and cultivation of two mature marijuana plants and seven immature marijuana plants for a person who is 21 years of age or older. Marijuana cannot be sold. And it cannot be given to anyone under the age of 21. There are other restrictions regarding the growing of marijuana.
    • Pros
      • This is an incremental step toward full legalization and regulation. Because both Massachusetts and Maine recently passed referendums legalizing marijuana, there is pressure for Vermont to do the same. Visitors from those states will not have be overly concerned about running afoul of Vermont's legal system.
      • Obtaining marijuana for therapeutic purposes will be easier and less costly.
      • Those wishing to use marijuana and grow there own will not have to deal with the illegal drug market.
      • The current system is not working. Perhaps this will lead toward a system that does.
    • Cons
      • Because there remains no accurate road-side test for marijuana inebriation, public safety will have to use impaired driving laws to control what may be an increase in unsafe driving. Impaired driving arrests are cumbersome as they require officers with special training.
      • The adverse effects of marijuana on youth are well documented. Legalizing marijuana gives our young a license to try it and be drawn into its use.
      • Legalization will inevitably lead to commercialization and related pressures toward consumption.
      • If people are allowed to grow it, they will try to sell it, even if doing so is illegal. This will create a quasi-legal black market for marijuana.