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Vermont governor vetoes recreational Marijuana legalization bill - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Vermont governor vetoes recreational Marijuana legalization bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (CNN) -

Vermont Governor Phil Scott told reporters he was not satisfied that a bill to legalize recreational Marijuana adequately protected public safety. He said he was particularly worried about the threat of stoned drivers and about children getting access to pot.

The republican governor said he was returning the bill to the state legislature.

Colorado and seven other states along with the District of Columbia have legalized recreational pot. Vermont would have been the first to do it by passing a law rather than a ballot measure.

The bill would have opened a retail market for recreational marijuana in Vermont beginning in July 2018. Medical marijuana is already legal there.

Marijuana sales in Vermont could have totaled $179 million by 2025 if the state had legalized recreational pot, according to estimates from New Frontier, a company that analyzes the marijuana industry.

Of the eight states where recreational pot is legal, half -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska -- already have retail markets, meaning pot can be bought at dispensaries by customers 21 or older.

The other four states -- California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada -- only legalized recreational marijuana in November, and state and local regulators haven't yet established how the drug will be sold and taxed.

It typically takes more than year from legalization to actual sales in dispensaries.

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