While laws regulating recreational and medical cannabis have mostly been settled here in the state of Washington, there are still a myriad of other legislative, regulatory and enforcement decisions being made elsewhere in the nation. Let's take a quick stroll around America and bring you up to speed.
For a while last week, it looked like Vermont would become the next state to enter the legal cannabis industry when the state's legislature passed a bill on to the governor's desk. But the legalization effort came to a halt when Republican Governor Phil Scott vetoed it. In a statement to reporters, Scott said that he was not altogether opposed to legal cannabis in Vermont, but that he still had some reservations.
"I think we need to move a little bit slower," Scott said, adding that he was concerned about residents driving under the influence, and also wants the state to set up a regulatory commission.
The bill would have made Vermont the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislative process instead of through a ballot initiative.
Other states have also tried to legalize marijuana through their legislatures, but none have succeeded. A bill in New Mexico that would have regulated the production and sale of cannabis died in committee in late February. A similar bill in Minnesota didn't gain the necessary traction, either. In Utah, marijuana advocates have struggled to get their state to place a medical marijuana measure on the ballot in 2018. Similar efforts for the November 2016 general election also failed.
There has been some progress in other red states this spring, especially in Georgia, where, as we've seen in other conservative areas, the support for cannabis oil has for medical use has expanded. Georgia has a very limited medical cannabis program that allows the oil for a list of specific ailments. But the state legislature just approved a bill in late March that expanded the list of conditions for which cannabis oil could be prescribed. The ailments added to the list included Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, autism, Tourette syndrome and others. There are currently more than 1,800 people in Georgia using medical cannabis. ♦