Pubdate: Wed, 31 Mar 2010
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2010 Rutland Herald
Author: Denny Lane


In regard to Senate Bill 226, I'd like to make the  following

While it's great that patients are no longer subject to  arrest for
medical marijuana, many still have to turn  to drug dealers to get
access to the medicine they  need.

Since Vermont has no legal distribution system,  patients who purchase
their medicine have to pay black  market prices, more than they would
pay if they could  buy it legally.

Patients with debilitating diseases like cancer or  HIV/AIDS aren't
physically able to grow their own  marijuana or wait three months for
plants to mature,  and the last thing we should be doing is putting
them  in harm's way by sending them to drug dealers.

In other states with regulated distribution, state  health departments
only need one or two staffers to  manage the entire program, including
patient ID cards,  which Vermont already processes. By setting
reasonable  application and registration fees for compassion center
operators, the program could easily pay for itself. In  New York a
dispensary system was added to the Senate's  budget proposal for the
upcoming year because it's  expected to generate so much revenue.

This proposal won't change who qualifies. The law will  still require
patients to have serious conditions and  an ongoing relationship with
their recommending  physician.

Studies by law enforcement agencies in Denver and Los  Angeles showed
that dispensaries there were less likely  to be robbed than area
banks, and that they were no  more likely to be robbed than pharmacies.


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