Colorado and Washington voters were not the only ones to embrace legalization on Tuesday.  Lost in the avalanche of publicity about those two, obviously more significant, votes was one by some folks closer to home.  Burlington, Vermont, voters approved an advisory City Council referendum that had asked, “Shall the people of Burlington support the legalization, regulation, and taxation of all cannabis and hemp products?” Reports indicate that the measure passed with 70% of the vote.  Burlington now joins Montpelier to become the second Vermont municipality to pass a non-binding referendum calling for full legalization.  (Montpelier passed its resolution in 2010).

Unlike the votes in Colorado and Washington, these non-binding resolutions lack the force of law.  They don’t actually do anything to legalize marijuana; they simply show what the voters think.  Whether voters statewide agree with those in Burlington that there should be full legalization is unclear.  However, a February 2012 PPP poll showed Vermont voters favoring depenalization (a much smaller step than full legalization, and one likely to enjoy wider support) by 63 to 29%.  Burlington Ward 2 City Councilor Max Tracy, a Progressive, who sponsored the legalization resolution, has been quoted as saying his intent was simply to open a dialogue on legalization issues.  Presumably he succeeded.  Especially in light of state-wide passage of the Colorado and Washington measures, legalization advocates will surely press forward on this issue, and Vermonters can expect to hear more about it in days and weeks to come.