Vermont: Marijuana-legalization opponents call for science

MONTPELIER – Law enforcement officials and others who oppose marijuana legalization want to ensure they’re not forgotten as legislators get back to work on a regulation bill this week.

Opponents held a news conference Tuesday morning on the steps of the Statehouse in Montpelier.

“I really want to have a thoughtful conversation based on science,” said Debby Haskins, executive director of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana Vermont.

Haskins’ group believes that legal marijuana would lead to greater rates of youth marijuana use and challenges to public safety, particularly through impaired driving.

Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel, who spoke at the news conference, worries that legalizing marijuana would compromise police officers’ ability to search vehicles when they smell marijuana during a traffic stop, and that departments would need to obtain new K9 teams.

Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel, leader of the

Vergennes Police Chief George

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