Newsbrief: With Vermont Medical Marijuana Bill Pending, Burlington Voters Send a Message 3/5/04

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Voters in Burlington, Vermont, overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure Tuesday urging the state legislature to support a pending medical marijuana bill. Asked, "Shall the voters of the City of Burlington urge the State Legislature to exempt seriously ill Vermonters from state arrest and prosecution for the medical use of marijuana in the privacy of their homes, with the guidance of their doctors, if registered with the state?" the voters replied "yes" by a margin of 82% to 18%.

A medical marijuana bill, S. 76, which would protect patients from arrest, passed the Vermont Senate last year but has been stalled in the House Health and Welfare Committee. The Marijuana Policy Project, which has been active in the state, identified Rep. Bill Keogh (D-Chittenden-3-5) as the key vote on the committee.

"The voters of Burlington have sent an unmistakable message tonight: They don't want seriously ill people facing arrest and jail for using medical marijuana," said Neal Levine, MPP's director of state policies. "We are optimistic that Bill Keogh and his House colleagues will listen to the voters and pass the medical marijuana bill without further delay."

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