Contact Your Legislator

Updated June 16:
Vermont Cannabis Reform Bills 
How to Help Ahead of June 21 
Dear Governor Scott:
Phone Banking How-to
Sample Letter to Legislators

Vermont Cannabis Reform Bills

H.170: A bill that removes criminal and civil penalties for possession. This bill was PASSED by the House which was a historical vote. The Senate then passed a “compromise” legalization proposal on Friday. They did this by adding the H.170 legalization language, verbatim, to a different bill the House already passed, S.22.

We made history and national headlines on Wednesday, May 10 when the House PASSED this bill. On Wednesday, May 24, the Governor vetoed this bill and laid out key concerns for advocates and legislators to address, which they can potentially do ahead of the June 21 special summer session.

Legislators addressed the Governor’s concerns, returning a compromise bill, which the Governor again vetoed on June 14. The major point of contention appears to be the study commission, most notably the timeline they would have to report back on regulation recommendations. Despite the opening of Massachusetts’ legal market in July 2018, Governor Scott’s spokesperson indicated that the Governor would not want a commission to address — let alone implement — taxation and regulation questions until 2019 (read full article here). See How to Help, below, for the next steps.

S.16: A bill that reforms the medical marijuana system, expanding the number of dispensaries, allowing dispensaries to advertise and waiving the three-month patient-healthcare professional relationship. This bill has passed with allowances for new dispensaries, the loosening of several restrictions, and the addition of new qualifying conditions. 
Read about S.16 reforms here

How to Help Ahead of June 21

In spite of the Governor’s veto(s), the progress we have made on cannabis reform this session is impressive. Thanks to you ALL for your calls, messages, encouragement and participation.

What’s the next step? Ahead of the special legislative session that starts June 21, Vermonters can ask their legislators (particularly Republican reps) to support revising and passing legalization in June’s special session.

From the Burlington Free Press’s April McCullum:
Addressing S.22 is only possible if lawmakers suspend the rules, which requires a three-quarters vote in both chambers. 

The sticking point in this strategy? House Republicans.

Republicans hold 53 of the House’s 150 seats, and they traditionally vote among themselves to decide whether they will support a suspension of rules.

Email your legislator via the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana.

Look Up Your Rep on the Vermont General Assembly Site.

Dear Governor Scott

Vermonters can also point out to the Governor that the legislature has been studying this issue for two years already, and that he needs to stop playing at delay tactics in regards to the proposed Commission. 

Call: 802-828-3333

Send a Message

Tweet the Gov


Want to know how your rep voted? Here’s the roll call list.

Check out the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana‘s action page, where you can send a quick email about Vermont cannabis reform to your representatives.

Phone Banking How-To

  1.  Look up your local reps by going to the Vermont General Assembly site and typing in your town. Dial in, then-
  2. Even if you reach a staff member or a voicemail, leave a message with your intended statement. 
  3. Identify yourself as a constituent and which town you are in.
  4. State your position on the bills up for consideration. Example scripts below.

“Hi, my name is Mary Jane and I’m a constituent from (TOWN). I’m calling today to urge you to continue to move S.22 forward by voting to suspend the rules during the June veto session, so that we can address the Governor’s concerns and continue the compromise and consensus building from the spring session. The majority of Vermont voters support legalization, and S.22 is an incremental step in the right direction. Thanks very much for your time.”

UPDATED on May 4: Sample Letter to Legislators

Dear Legislators,

As a constituent who supports common sense, incremental cannabis reform, I write you today to respectfully ask you to take the procedural steps necessary to advance the criminal justice reforms from the House-passed version of H.170/S.22 AND to continue the work in the House with the goal of passing a regulation bill next year.

To be clear, a taxed and regulated system similar to that of neighboring states is absolutely the end goal, but there’s no good reason to maintain the status quo system of criminalized cannabis in the meantime.

With the yoke of criminal and civil threats removed, we will be removing the stigma and fear that’s unfairly associated with responsible use of cannabis.  Only then can we actually start to convert the illicit market into the regulated one that the majority of Vermonters prefer.

From a political standpoint, until the hurdle of legalization is cleared and ‘reefer madness’ fears are proven unfounded, the public and private discourse will remain limited to the ‘if’ rather than the more productive ‘how’ questions.

By continuing to discuss how to implement regulation after passing the provisions of H.170, there can be an inclusive and transparent process that builds on the considerable progress made in the Senate and by some House leaders over the past two years, which will result in a unified and efficient process leading into 2018 as we continue our forward progress.

These compromises mean that everyone (including the administration) can take a step forward together; without them, the risks of division and delay  will only persist.

Thank you again for your work in enabling the considerable cannabis reform progress made in the 2017 session, and thank you for your attention and consideration of my perspective as an engaged constituent.