Liberal-leaning Vermont could become the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use through legislation, rather than by voter initiative, in a move that advocates for the drug say could speed its acceptance across the nation.
State representatives this month are set to take up a bill passed by the state Senate in February that would allow adults over 21 to purchase and smoke the drug beginning in 2018.
The move follows a year of hearings in the Senate that lawmakers say allowed them to closely consider appropriate limits to place on the drug’s use. The current proposal would prohibit users from growing plants at home and ban the sale of edible products containing marijuana extracts.
But lawmakers must act before the end of May, when the current session ends, a deadline that may prove difficult to meet. It is uncertain whether it has enough support in the Democratic-controlled House to pass.