The Vermont Senate voted 16-13 Wednesday for a bill that would legalize the sale and possession of marijuana in 2018.

“For me the question has always been, ‘Does the current system of prohibition work?’” Senate Judiciary Committee chair Dick Sears (D-Bennington) said on the Senate floor. “The answer is clear.”

Sears and other supporters argued that taxing and regulating marijuana would be preferable to the current reality, with an estimated 80,000 Vermonters buying, growing and using marijuana illegally.

Opponents argued that legalization sends the wrong message. “Why are we saying, ‘Let’s legalize another drug’ when we have people who are in the grips of addiction?” asked Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell (D-Windsor).

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Terri Hallenbeck ~ Seven Days ~

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