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Vermont the 9th state to legalize recreational pot use

By Ed Adamczyk
Vermont the 9th state to legalize recreational pot use
Vermont legalized recreational marijuana, effective Sunday, but with a ban on its sale and limitations on its cultivation. File Photo by Iriana Shiyan/Shutterstock/UPI

July 2 (UPI) -- Vermont has become the ninth state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana use, with limitations and with some confusion.

Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation in January to legalize use of the drug, and Vermont is the first state to enact the law through its legislature. Previous approvals in other states were accomplished through voter referenda.

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Vermont's new law took effect Sunday.

The law emphasizes private use and cultivation -- allowing adults to possess one ounce of marijuana, and two mature and four immature marijuana plants.

Just one ounce can be carried at any time, but excess marijuana, presumably taken from the plants, can be stored at home.

Police are still unclear how they will enforce the law as it applies to marijuana-laced foods, as well as the boundaries of enforcement regarding public displays of pot use. The law is clear that smoking while in a car or while on Lake Champlain, a federal waterway, is illegal.

Amateur marijuana growers must have their plants away from public view and in a secure location. Smoking or growing marijuana at home requires permission of landlords.

The law says while pot can be grown and used, it cannot be sold. It does not, however, apply to Vermont's 5,000 registered medical marijuana patients.

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The Governor's Marijuana Advisory Commission is expected to recommend a system for administering the state's marijuana market by the end the year.

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