The Vermont Senate voted 21-9 on Friday to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a permissive stance on pot senators acknowledged the House is unlikely to embrace.
“We know that prohibition has not worked,” Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham) said. “Let’s make it safer, less accessible to kids.”
The vote came in response to an amendment White made to another criminal justice bill. The Senate had been awaiting action from the House on legalization, but that chamber had yet to vote as the legislative session nears its early-May adjournment.
Sen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland) briefly succeeded in derailing White’s amendment when she questioned whether it was sufficiently related — or germane — to the underlying bill. It wasn’t, ruled Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman.
But Senate rules allow the chamber to make a non-germane amendment germane, if they can muster a three-fourths’ majority. They did, by a 23-7 vote — exactly enough to meet the threshold.* [Read more at Seven Days]