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 Health News: Act now: Vt. Senate panel okays bill to improve medical marijuana law

VermontFrom: Marijuana Policy Project www.mpp.org

Last week, the Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee, in a 3-2 vote, gave its approval to S. 226, a bill that would add state-regulated distribution to the state’s existing medical marijuana law. This was a major development for patients in Vermont like Gulf War veteran Ian Rhein, who, after being shot over 20 years ago by his mother’s abusive ex-boyfriend, still has a bullet lodged in his back today. While Mr. Rhein can now legally possess and use marijuana to treat the excruciating pain in his back, he has no legal way to acquire his doctor-recommended medicine.

S. 226 would solve this problem, but it still has a long way to go. We need you to contact your senator and urge him or her to support this compassionate legislation on the Senate floor so that this bill can proceed to the House. ...



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If approved, the bill would place Vermont on par with other New England states like Rhode Island and Maine by allowing patients to legally obtain their medicine from state-regulated distribution outlets, rather than being forced to grow their own medicine, or worse, to look for drug dealers on the illicit market. Compassion centers that distribute marijuana would be subject to regulatory oversight by the Vermont Departments of Health and Public Safety, would have to comply with extensive safety and record-keeping requirements, and would have to pay application and registration fees to offset department costs.

Recent comments by Gov. Jim Douglas indicating he may oppose the bill (though he didn’t say whether he’d veto it) will make our job much harder, so it’s important that you take time to contact your senators now and urge them to pass this bill. The sooner the House can get to work, the better.

Thanks for all your support, and don’t forget to forward this message on to a friend. And as always, if you’re a patient, law enforcement officer, or other individual with a special interest in this legislation, send me an email at [email protected]

Sincerely,



Dan Riffle
Legislative Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project

MPP
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, #400
Washington, DC 20002

************

Help fund MPP's projects

MPP hopes that each of the 100,000 subscribers on our national e-mail list will make at least one financial donation to MPP's work in 2010. Please click here to donate now.

************

[15 March 2010]





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