Candidates for Governor
Gov. Phil Scott (R) — signed legalization bill, but does not support regulation and taxation
On January 22, 2018, Gov. Phil Scott became the first governor in the nation to sign a bill making marijuana legal for adults’ use. However, he previously vetoed a similar bill in spring 2017 and identified changes that would have to be made before he would be willing to sign a subsequent bill. In addition, Gov. Scott’s signing statement indicates that he did so “with mixed emotions,” and he made it clear that he has not yet been convinced to support a regulated and taxed market:
“I look forward to the Marijuana Advisory Commission addressing the need to develop comprehensive 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.”
The Marijuana Advisory Commission, which was created pursuant to an executive order signed by Gov. Scott in September 2017, is scheduled to issue its report to the legislature in December 2018.
Christine Hallquist (D) — supports legalization, regulation, and taxation
Ms. Hallquist said, "I am strongly in favor of moving to Tax and Regulate. For me, any tax income would be an added bonus. To have a product that one can possess and consume legally, but which you have no way of knowing the safety or origin of, is neither just nor reasonable. Vermonters deserve to know that their cannabis is safe and that they are inadvertently supporting criminal organizations. We can develop a thriving locally produced sector around cannabis products and to ignore this opportunity is a major failure of the current administration. I believe that prohibition is a failed policy that unnecessarily increases our prison population. I would work with States Attorneys on expungement on peoples' criminal records related to marijuana. My administration will work towards a just marijuana policy that ends prohibition.”
Candidates for Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman (D) — supports legalization, regulation, and taxation
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman has strongly supported legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for many years. He sponsored a marijuana regulation bill as a member of the Senate during the 2015-2016 session, and he has been a strong public advocate for marijuana policy reform as lieutenant governor.
House Minority Leader Don Turner (R) — opposed legalization, but now supports regulation and taxation
Rep. Don Turner opposed legalization as a member of the House of Representatives in 2017 and 2018. However, after the legalization bill passed in January, he began to signal support for regulating and taxing marijuana. In April, he coordinated with Zuckerman on a plan to pass a marijuana regulation amendment in the House, but the plan fell through — in part because Turner decided not to sponsor the amendment.