Panel discusses implications of fully regulated Vermont cannabis market
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Attorney General T.J. Donovan on Wednesday discussed some of the challenges of implementing a fully regulated cannabis market in Vermont.
One of the biggest questions is regarding how to regulate the market and how to ensure people use marijuana safely and responsibly.
Donovan says one option is to appoint a commission focused on regulation. He says he will defer to the Legislature to decide how that would look and work.
Current Vermont law allows anyone who is at least 21 years old to possess 1 ounce (That’s a lot of weed) of marijuana or grow two mature or four juvenile marijuana plants. Although people can legally have weed, the law states they can’t buy it.
Donovan says that needs to change and he’s in favor of giving Vermonters a place to buy weed. (Why thank you, sir)
“It’s time for a fully regulated market with cannabis in the state of Vermont,” said Donovan, D-Vermont. “You can’t tell Vermonters that they can legally possess something and then be silent on how they obtain it.” (It’s still illegal to buy and sell weed in Vt. but you can obtain it)
Donovan says the state needs to decide how to regulate a marijuana marketplace.
“Regulations mean consumer protections. It means public health. It means protecting kids (Strawman) and it means enhancing public safety,” Donovan said. “It’s the responsible thing to do.”
Some public health experts are warning Vermont to tread lightly when moving the commercial cannabis market forward. They say other states that have given this a shot have not been successful. (This is completely untrue – Take a good look at Colorado)
“The CDC recently came out with data that says one out of six of the lung injury cases are related to state-sanctioned vaping devices. So, I think that speaks to the challenges that states have to try to wrap their arms around these commercial markets,” said Scott Gagnon of the New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network. (Why the focus on vaping – There are plenty of ways to consume marijuana – Talk about a weak strawman argument)
Experts are also worried marijuana use among kids and teenagers will go up.
Local psychiatrist Dr. David Rettew says marijuana can make children paranoid and hallucinate.
“The problem is when you get paranoid, you think people are out to get you and then you try to defend yourself and that can sometimes lead to aggression toward other people,” Rettew explained. (This can happen with any kind of mind altering substance, including psychotropics – Talk about hypocrisy on a planetary scale, Doctor).
Health officials also have concerns about adults consuming too much marijuana and driving while high. They say marijuana causes people to have delayed reactions and that could be dangerous especially on icy, rural Vermont roads.