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Border states concerned as Vermont considers legalizing recreational marijuana

Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont)
Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont)
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CAMBRIDGE - Law enforcement agencies in New York are closely watching a bill making its way through the Vermont General Assembly.

The measure, recently approved by the State Senate and awaiting House approval, would allow anyone 21 years of age or older to use recreational marijuana. They would also be allowed to possess up to an ounce without any consequences. The bill wouldn't take effect until 2018, but authorities are already listing their concerns.

"I think it's going to be a nightmare," exclaimed Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell. The outer edge of Bell's jurisdiction lies just minutes from the Vermont border.

Bell's concerned the widespread legalization of marijuana could lead to issues battling the drug at home.

"I don't think anybody in law enforcement at this point knows how they're going to deal with it if it does go in Vermont like this," Bell explained.

Bell says he'll treat any possession as criminal, unless the marijuana's been prescribed in New York.

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The marijuana bill is still awaiting approval in the Vermont's House of Representatives. Lawmakers are expected to take up the measure in March.

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