In this Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Scott waves to a room full of supporters as he awaits the election results at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel in South Burlington, Vt. (Andy Duback, Associated Press)

Vermont gov and legislators still negotiating marijuana legalization

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott says he has sent a counterproposal to lawmakers in response to the revised marijuana legalization proposal they sent to him last week.

A Scott spokeswoman said Wednesday evening that there were areas of agreement, and some areas where the administration proposed changes to address the governor’s concerns relating to protecting minors and ensuring highway safety. She said the governor continues to be optimistic that an agreement can be reached and will continue to work with lawmakers.

Scott, in his veto message to the Legislature last month, outlined several concerns and offered a “path forward” if lawmakers could address his concerns before the June 21 veto session.

Previously, the AP reported that Sen. Dick Sears, a Bennington Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said a key change allows for police to seize marijuana if someone possesses more than the law allows; possesses it where they are not allowed; or consumes the drug where it’s not allowed. The original bill didn’t provide authority for police to seize any marijuana.

Information from: The Times Argus