Scott signs pot legalization bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Gov. Phil Scott has signed Vermont's marijuana legalization bill into law.

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A Scott administration official tells WCAX the governor signed the bill shortly before 2 p.m. Monday. Scott is now the first governor in the country to sign marijuana legalization into law. Eight other states legalized marijuana through public referendums.

In a letter to lawmakers, Scott said he signed the bill, H.511, with "mixed emotions."

The bill allows Vermonters over the age of 21 to have an ounce of weed and to grow a few plants. Once signed, the new law goes into effect July 1.

In his letter the governor told lawmakers he will veto any effort to create a regulated retail market for marijuana in Vermont at this time. He says the state must first address education, prevention, and highway safety strategies.

"To be very direct: There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial "tax and regulate" system for an adult marijuana market. It is important for the General Assembly to know that - until we have a workable plan to address each of these concerns - I will veto any additional effort along these lines, which manages to reach my desk," Scott said.