cannabisnews.com: State Legislator Bray Set To Move Forward on MMJ
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State Legislator Bray Set To Move Forward on MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on December 29, 2009 at 06:05:25 PT
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau
Source: Times Argus
Montpelier, VT --  In 2004, Vermont approved medical-marijuana legislation that allowed eligible residents to lawfully use the plant to ease chronic pain symptoms. But the state never provided a legal outlet for patients to obtain it.In 2010, a New Haven lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would create so-called "compassion centers," where people on Vermont's medical-marijuana registry could receive medication.
"What is driving it for me is a sense of compassion and fairness," says Democrat Chris Bray. "This is a drug we have vetted as a state as being appropriate for people with defined medical conditions and yet we haven't provided a safe and legal way for them to purchase it."Bray says a constituent, one of 189 people on Vermont's medical-marijuana registry, has suffered unnecessarily because of Vermont's lack of marijuana dispensaries. While the 2004 law  expanded in 2008 to increase the number of eligible illnesses  allows patients to cultivate and possess marijuana, a bad crop or inability to grow the plant can prevent them from having a steady and adequate supply.Vermont is one of 14 states in the nation with medical-marijuana legislation."He resents the fact, and I think justifiably, that he was pushed into buying medical marijuana from illicit sources, which is expensive and illegal and often not even available to him," Bray says.Bray says the man, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has had to endure weeks without marijuana that most effectively alleviates his painful and debilitating symptoms."I think we have unnecessary obstacles in the way of delivering health care that we've already decided is safe and effective for these people," Bray says.Bray's effort gained steam earlier this year when President Barack Obama's justice department issued a three-page memo to U.S. attorneys in each state. In a shift from the previous Bush administration policy, the directive said federal law enforcement "should not focus federal resources in your states on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana."Still, public safety officials are wary of instituting Bray's proposal. Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas Tremblay says he's heard horror stories from law-enforcement officials in other states where dispensaries have been legalized. The proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in California particularly, he says, have been used as an end-run around conventional marijuana laws, spawning new criminal activity and complicating marijuana enforcement in general."It concerns me because this idea violates federal law," Tremblay said. "And from what I'm hearing from other states that have these in place, the dispensaries have been quite a problem."Bray readily admits that the California experiment has gone terribly awry. But, he says, Vermont can craft responsible legislation that solves medical-marijuana patients' dilemma without abetting illegal marijuana use.His preferred method is to dispense the drug at pharmacies. However, marijuana's federal status as a schedule-one narcotic would prevent that from happening until the drug is reclassified as a lower-tier drug. Also problematic, he says, is how to secure legal supplies of the medication."I don't know what the best answer is right now in terms of securing a supply and dispensing," he says.Tremblay says he sees medical-marijuana legislation and ensuing debates over dispensaries as a prologue to efforts at blanket legalization of the drug."I believe that the original idea behind this law was to put us on a slippery slope toward potentially legalizing marijuana and this I think is the next step," Tremblay says.Bray, though, says his efforts are focused solely on patients eligible for medical marijuana. He says he has not been contacted or worked with any state or national organizations promoting marijuana legalization.The bill has little chance of progressing far in the 2010 legislative session. The chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees say time will likely be devoted to other more pressing issues.Bray says he hopes the bill will spark a conversation that sets the table for more concrete action in the future."It may be I can only get so far as raising the profile of the issue," he says. "It's not unusual to start a conversation in one session and keep working until one or two or three years later you have the traction and attention you need."Source: Times Argus (Barre, VT)Author: Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press BureauPublished: December 29, 2009Copyright: 2009 Times ArgusContact: letters timesargus.comWebsite: http://www.timesargus.com/ URL: http://drugsense.org/url/BEpu6w1lCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 29, 2009 at 14:12:12 PT
Thank You Dankhank
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread25284.shtml
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Comment #8 posted by dankhank on December 29, 2009 at 13:26:04 PT
10 reasons ...
http://drugsense.org/url/1sOhDoEjlike this ...
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Comment #7 posted by josephlacerenza on December 29, 2009 at 10:59:50 PT
Here is the link Hope
I forgot to put it in the last post.http://www.greeneacrescaregiver.wordpress.com
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Comment #6 posted by josephlacerenza on December 29, 2009 at 10:56:50 PT
Hope
... you are great!!! It would mean a great deal if you proofed some of them. You can leave a message there and I will fix what ever you see!! Thanks again!! It does amaze me how much we here at C-News look out for eachother. I did not know how to take Mr. BB, or the response to him.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on December 29, 2009 at 09:48:49 PT
Josephlacerenza
If you ever need a proofreader, I'm your woman.My kids always dreaded having me proofread their papers. They always said, "The teacher doesn't care!"But it does seem to be one thing I'm pretty good at... catching some of those things. Though, regrettably, not so well in my own posts, which I sometimes don't bother to check or read before I post them. Then Wham!... it's too late.And though I can see them... I'm not one to be correcting people... unless it's funny!But if it matters... I'll proofread your stuff anytime you'd like.
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Comment #4 posted by josephlacerenza on December 29, 2009 at 09:36:35 PT
Hope!!
I am so thankful you pointed that out!! I fixed it. You can have poppy seeds on your bagel, but probably not on your beagle! ;) I'm doing this by myself and it's not as easy as I thought it would be!!
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on December 29, 2009 at 09:09:18 PT
Poppy seeds on my beagle?
Not lately!
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on December 29, 2009 at 09:08:35 PT
Sometimes there is something funny
when there wasn't supposed to be. One little spelling error in that Green Economy, Not in the USA certainly tickled my funny bone."Look at the poppy seed that is used on your beagle."
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on December 29, 2009 at 08:34:35 PT
Green Economy, Not in the USA
OT but I found this at Norml.
Green Economy, Not in the USA
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