Vermont Close to Legalizing Medical Marijuana

A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Vermont will soon become law without the signature of Gov. James Douglas, the Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported May 20.

Under the legislation, patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, or multiple sclerosis would be able to grow up to three marijuana plants in a locked room and possess two ounces of “usable” marijuana.

The Vermont Senate approved the bill 20-7. It moves on to the governor, who said he would not sign it. As a result, the bill would automatically become law in five days.

“I will not oppose this decision of the elected representatives of the people, nor will I support it by signing it into law,” Douglas said. “I cannot actively support a measure that allows Vermonters to be subject to prosecution under federal law, increases the availability of a controlled substance, and sends a dangerous message to our children.”

The White House had urged Douglas to veto the bill and had lobbied in the state against it.

But Douglas said, “I believe that we owe Vermonters with debilitating medical conditions the very best that medical science has to offer. Proven science has not demonstrated that marijuana is part of that. Despite that fact, marijuana offers those with the most painful chronic diseases a measure of hope in a time of suffering.”