Vermont is on the verge of becoming the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but, being Vermont, it is taking an earthier, grow-it-yourself approach — one that could become a model for others.
Vermont is not asking voters to approve a ballot proposal and it is not allowing for-profit businesses to grow and sell the drug, at least not right away. Instead, its lawmakers passed a bill this month that would let people 21 and older keep two flowering and four young marijuana plants at home. In addition, people 21 and older could possess up to one ounce of the drug. The bill would also create an independent commission to propose legislation that could later be used to create a regulated market for marijuana with commercial growers and retailers.
Vermont’s path resembles that of the District of Columbia, where residents voted in 2014 to let people 21 and older grow up to six marijuana plants. Proponents of the home-grow model say it represents a third approach that falls somewhere between criminalizing use of the drug and creating a market in which businesses have an incentive to encourage marijuana use. [Read more at The New York Times]