Let's skip the medical marijuana dispensary syndrome and simply legalize marijuana for adult use in Vermont. The Vermont legislature, like other states have outdated themselves with the implementation of marijuana dispensaries. They are not sensible solutions to set guidelines to dispense marijuana to people as patients.Moreover, it sets the terrible precedent that marijuana is best prescribed. The guidelines enacted by the legislature border on the ridiculous. Setting limits on the number of "patients" allowed to receive a license, and setting limits on the list of ailments that physicians can prescribe for their patients literally defeats the purpose of using marijuana as a medicine for a broad spectrum of people.
Similarly, decriminalization of marijuana in as much is telling us that marijuana for adult personal use is elementally a crime! It's just another form of criminalizing marijuana consumers.
Regulating and licensing marijuana for adult consumers along the "alcohol model" makes the most sense. Once adults can make their own choice, like alcohol consumers do, they can decide if they wish to use it for personal reasons or medical reasons, unencumbered by the irrational and draconian limits set on dispensary, patient licensing and low fine procedures by the legislators. The Vermont legal codes for dispensaries and decriminalization are not very well thought out and they suffer from a timidity to take the obvious steps for a real adult consumers solution.
Not too long ago I read an article where it was reported that Governor Shumlin expressed a need to examine Colorado and Washington state's legalization policies for future consideration here in Vermont. When Marijuana Resolve first began its public outreach for decriminalization we did so with the understanding that decriminalization and medicalization of marijuana are inferior steps to the real and obvious goal: legalization of marijuana for an adult consumer market. Okay. We played ball back then because decriminalization and medicalization were the only games we could play to get the legislature's attention.
We were well aware that the Marijuana Resolve team and many public supporters favored the legal regulation of marijuana as the right thing to do. This unnecessary circuitous path that state legislatures take to change the marijuana laws reminds me of a quote from Winston Churchill who said, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, only after they've tried everything else."