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Vermonters Push to Legalize Marijuana

Many in the Green Mountain State are watching what happens in Colorado which on Wednesday started allowing people to legally buy recreational marijuana.
HINESBURG, Vt. - Many in the Green Mountain State are watching what happens in Colorado which on Wednesday started allowing people to legally buy recreational marijuana.

Vermont has already decriminalized small amounts of pot and it's been given the okay for medical use. But some want the state to go further.

"Marijuana is used recreationally all over the place. People still function in society," says State Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden County.

That's part of why Zuckerman wants to legalize marijuana in Vermont.

"It's really about bringing something out of the dark and into the light," says Zuckerman.

The progressive/democrat says we should treat pot like liquor. It would be legal to buy and sell but regulated by the state.

"Right now we have an underground system that elevates the value, elevates criminal actitivity, and if we were to do something like this we would be able to utilize revenues for prevention and for treatment," says Zuckerman.

The Chittenden County senator wants to tax pot at $50 an ounce.

There will be rules which include only people over 21-years-old could have it and they would be limited to two ounces and three plants.

While Zuckerman has already introduced the legalization bill, he realizes it will take a lot of work and possibly time to get to where Colorado is now.

"Vermont has a lot kindred feelings with Colorado. From the ski industry to the community spirit and the libertarian spirit at the same time, let me do with myself what I want," says Zuckerman.

The leader of the Vermont senate, Senator John Campbell, says right now the bill's negatives out weigh the positives and it will likely not be a priority this upcoming session.

But Zuckerman says this is about starting the conversation and he's hopeful legalization will eventually happen.
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