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Vermont becomes first US state to legalize recreational cannabis through legislature
01-24-18 Category: Marijuana

Vermont becomes first US state to legalize recreational cannabis through legislature

Vermont Governor Phil Scott on Jan. 22, 2018, signed a marijuana legislation — House Bill 511 — into law, which makes the state to be the first in the United States to legalize recreational cannabis by an act of state legislature, rather than by a ballot measure. The new law makes it legal to possess up to 1 ounce of weed and decriminalize possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants with effect from July 2018.

“Today, with mixed emotions, I have signed H. 511. 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,” said Scott in a statement addressed to the state’s General Assembly.

Now, Vermont is the ninth U.S. state to allow pot for recreational use. The other eight states, which have allowed adult-use marijuana, sought the choice of voters through the ballot box before legalizing the drug. However, Vermont doesn’t have any such provision for a voting process. According to Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, the new law has sent positive signals to other legislative bodies in the country that legislature can act in the people’s favor without any fear of electoral retribution.

Over the years, legislators statewide had been working to bring this change through legislation. In fact, last spring, the Vermont Legislature passed a similar bill, but Scott had vetoed it, citing practical concerns as it was unclear about how people selling weed to minors would be punished. In the final version of the bill, there is sufficient clarity on the civil penalties for those who sell weed to minors. The timing of the bill seems to be controversial as legislators passed it in the Vermont House of Representatives just a day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions released new Justice Department guidelines providing federal prosecutors the required authority to crack down on legal marijuana operations in a state.

Marijuana is highly addictive

Marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S., is a highly addictive substance. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 24 million people aged 12 or older in 2016 were current cannabis users. But unfortunately, marijuana advocates fail to recognize the risks involved in pot addiction. Countering the surge in marijuana addiction can be a challenging task, but the key to success lies in immediate intervention by educating people about it.

Marijuana is commonly abused by all sections of society in California. According to experts, the ongoing clamor of pro-cannabis campaigns in the past few years have caused the rates of addiction to reach new heights. Moreover, studies show this can even reach manifold proportions in the event of complete legalization in the country. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxin in weed, has a significant impact on physical and mental health. Over time, an individual is unable to discontinue the use of marijuana in spite of the negative impact on his or her life. Some common side effects of marijuana addiction are anxiety, amnesia, cognitive impairments, distorted perception and poor motor skills.

If you or a loved one is struggling to break free from addiction to marijuana, contact the Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California, which offers a variety of customized residential marijuana detox programs for all age groups. Our personalized marijuana addiction treatment programs in California are tailored to individual needs in order to treat a person holistically. Our licensed clinicians use a host of approaches to address the root cause of addiction. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.

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