Medical marijuana may go mobile in Vermont


Vermont's medical marijuana patients could soon have their medicine delivered right to their door.

Ruth Reich lives and works on a small horse farm in Poultney.

"It's a very physical job," she said. "I run this farm on my own."

That challenge is made more difficult by health problems; she's a cancer survivor and has spinal issues, leaving her living with a lot of pain. A couple of years ago she secured a medical marijuana card, finding her body better tolerated cannabis than powerful prescription drugs she says wreaked havoc on her body. But she has not stopped by the dispensary in two months, because unlike prescription painkillers insurance doesn't cover pot.


Watch: Bernie Sanders' Home State Speaks Out For Legalization

Vermont could make history next year by becoming the first state in the American northeast to legalize cannabis. Meet the local activists, politicians, businesspeople, patients and students who hope to see the Green Mountain State legalize recreational cannabis use. "I do see tides turning, even attitudes changing, but the law still exists, our prisons are still full," says one Montpelier resident in this engaging and entertaining video by Eva Soldberger.


Will the Bernie Sanders Pot Bill Make Drug Testing Go up in Smoke?

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, introduced a marijuana-related bill in early November that might hasten the proliferation of state laws on recreational pot.

This development could cause employers some concern about the continued efficacy of their drug usage and testing policies and also raise other, less critical questions. For example, will they decide to add more vending machines or restock the Funyuns and other munchies more frequently?

The bill introduced by Sanders would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. This change would, among other things, let states decide if they want to make pot use legal without worrying about violating federal law. 


What would a legal marijuana law look like in Vermont?


Vermont lawmakers signed off on four pages worth of guidelines Thursday, between now and Dec. 10, a staff attorney will turn them into a bill. The measure would allow those older than 21 to use, purchase and grow recreational marijuana. Anyone selling pot would need to be licensed by the state.

Shayne Lynn operates two of Vermont's four medical marijuana dispensaries.

"The guidelines we've seen is a really great start. For us in the medical program, the real priority is making sure the medical program survives and can work in parallel," said Lynn of Champlain Valley Dispensary.


Marijuana pitched for young Vermont entrepreneurs

Vermont Cannabis Collaborative spokesperson Bill Lofy speaks in favor of marijuana legalization at a news conference in Burlington on Wednesday.(Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

Entrepreneurs are pitching marijuana as a cash crop that would keep college graduates in Vermont and create thousands of jobs.

The Vermont Cannabis Collaborative says in a new report that if Vermont lawmakers bring “order to the chaos” of the underground illegal marijuana market, business opportunities would abound.


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.


The next 8 states that could legalize weed within the year

Beginning in 2012, four states and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize marijuana. By this time next year, that number could well double, and then some. National polls consistently show majorities in favor of legalization, with a recent Gallup poll showing 58% support—tied for the highest level in the poll’s history.

That doesn’t mean legalization is inevitable in any given state, as the case of Ohio demonstrated earlier this month. There an initiative led by non-movement investors who sought monopolistic control of commercial pot cultivation got trounced despite spending millions of dollars.


Think Tank Wants To Make Vermont The Home Of Cannabis R&D

The co-founders of the Phytosciences Institute, Willy Cats-Baril, Dr. Kalev Freeman, Monique McHenry, Tom Grace and Robin Grace, from left, are hoping to make Vermont a leader in medical marijuana research.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Eleven years ago, Vermont followed suit. But doctors still know surprisingly little about the pharmacology of cannabis. And a Vermont-based think-tank is hoping to transform the industry by applying new scientific rigor to an old drug.

When you feel a headache coming on, or that sore back starts to act up, choosing a medical intervention is a pretty straightforward affair.


More tickets issued than arrests for pot possession in Vermont

What Vermont has lost in arrests since decriminalizing marijuana in 2013 it's more than made up for by issuing tickets for pot possession.

Last year, law enforcement around the state filed paperwork with the court for 1,366 adult civil marijuana complaints, more than double the amount of arrests on file with the Vermont Crime Information Center in 2012 when a similar offense was still criminal, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.


The 5 Next States to See Legal Marijuana

Unless you live in the South, recreational weed is coming to a state near you

1. California made history in 1996, when it became the first state to legalize medical marijuana; next November, it will vote to allow recreational weed, and polls indicate the amendment will likely pass. "Then we will have reached the tipping point," says Angell, of the Marijuana Majority. "And with California having so many members in Congress, it will give a huge boost to our efforts to change federal law."


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