Vermont Mulls Ways To Dispense Pot
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Vermont Mulls Ways To Dispense Pot');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Vermont Mulls Ways To Dispense Pot
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2010 at 09:41:32 PT
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau
Source: Keene Sentinel 
Montpelier, Vt. -- Rep. Joe Baker is about as unlikely an advocate for marijuana-reform legislation as one could find. The husky West Rutland lawmaker calls himself a law-and-order Republican who has never smoked the drug in his life.“I’m the original nerd,” Baker says. “I wouldn’t know what the processed stuff looks like if it was sitting on a table in front of me.” In 2004, when legislators legalized the use of medical marijuana for eligible patients, the military veteran cast his vote against the measure.
“It was against the law,” he says.But on Tuesday, Baker sat before his Senate colleagues to lobby in support of proposed legislation that would set up so-called “compassion centers” for the nearly 200 Vermonters now enrolled in the state’s medical-marijuana registry. After watching his wife succumb to cancer five years ago, Baker says, he now understands the pain and suffering that lack of access can cause.“There’s just no safe, legal way to get that medicine,” Baker says. “I want doctors and patients to have every tool available, and right now they don’t.”Last week, the Senate Committee on Government Operations dedicated two days of hearings to a bill that would establish nonprofit dispensaries for medical marijuana. The logistics are still up for debate — it’s unclear whether pharmacies, nonprofits or even liquor stores would make the best medical-marijuana outlets. And the issue of supply also remains murky as legislators consider the merits of licensed growers versus confiscated contraband seized by law-enforcement officers.But committee chairwoman Jeanette White, a Windham County Democrat, says she’s serious about passing the bill this year.“I’m very serious about this,” White says. “We’re not wedded to all the provisions as written, but I’m more than convinced that this is serious enough issue for us to act on.”Dispensaries can’t come soon enough for people like Ian Rhein, a St. Johnsbury father of two with a bullet lodged in his back. “Countless” surgeries and medical procedures have failed to quell the pain, and the opiate painkillers prescribed by his doctor, he says, aren’t nearly as effective as the marijuana that his Department of Safety-issued registration card allows him to possess legally.“It really is a medicine to me,” the Gulf War veteran told lawmakers. “It truly is a medicine that works for both the treatment of pain in my back as well as the post traumatic stress disorder which I was diagnosed with nearly eight years ago.”Problem is, Rhein says, he can’t find any marijuana. Registered patients like himself are allowed to grow limited amounts of the plant, but concerns over his family’s security and social stigma make that an unpalatable option for Rhein. Finding his medicine on the black market has proven even more harrowing. Not only is he unsure about the strain and quality of street cannabis, he says it’s nearly impossible for a straight-edged guy like himself to find a willing seller.“I don’t have the dreadlocks or the long hair,” he says. “I don’t fit the stereotype I guess as to what a marijuana user is supposed to look like.”White says her bill aims to remedy Rhein’s problem by establishing three to five nonprofit dispensaries at which registered users could secure a safe, legal, and more affordable supply of their medicine.Baker says the Obama Administration’s decision to dial back enforcement on state-sanctioned medical-marijuana dispensaries makes this the time to act.“If the state says it’s okay, and the federal government says it’s okay, then now it’s time to do this,” Baker says.The bill has drawn opposition from Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Tremblay, who has said that Vermont risks wider-spread illegal use should dispensaries be created.Source: Keene Sentinel (NH)Author: Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press BureauPublished: Monday, February 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Keene SentinelContact: letters keenesentinel.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #3 posted by runruff on February 15, 2010 at 23:50:57 PT
My kitty is a stereo type?
She is a longhair Maine Coon and she likes to get high, chase invisable black butterflys around the room, attack her kibble and fall asleep on my lap, oh yes, and she has dreads! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Universer on February 15, 2010 at 19:50:31 PT
Typing in Stereo
“I don’t have the dreadlocks or the long hair,” he says. “I don’t fit the stereotype I guess as to what a marijuana user is supposed to look like.”With respect to your awful, painful circumstances, Mr. Rhein, I too don't have dreadlocks or long hair. Heck, I often wear neckties to work. I too do not fit the stereotype as to what a marijuana user looks like.But I is one.And not even for medicine. For fun!Your stereotype doesn't fit most marijuana users. It is therefore misleading and useless as a stereotype. You'd be best to change it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by hempcansaveUS on February 15, 2010 at 15:44:54 PT
always makes a difference....
I guess sometimes it takes a loved one to need medical marijuana, to see the benefits, and believe it really is medicine.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment