Marijuana: Vermont Governor Open to Discussing Decriminalization, He Says

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #518)
Drug War Issues

In an apparent change of attitude, Vermont Republican Gov. Jim Douglas said last week that he was open to discussing marijuana decriminalization. That stance is a shift from positions he took just a couple of months ago, when he had the state take temporary control of marijuana cases from Windsor County after the local prosecutor, Bobby Sands, was accused of having a policy of diverting marijuana cases because he thought it should be legalized.

But Sands, who claimed he had no blanket policy of diversion, is not alone in supporting decrim. Democratic Senate President Peter Shumlin has now floated a proposal to consider decriminalization. The cut-off level for diversion instead of court proceedings should be a half-ounce of weed, Shumlin suggested.

Responding to Shumlin's proposal at a January 3 press conference in Montpelier, Gov. Douglas said he was open to discussing the matter, but that he wasn't sure about a specific amount. He added that the state needs to maintain enforcement efforts against harder drugs and the misuse of prescription drugs.

Vermont arrested some 1,800 people for small-time marijuana possession last year, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

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Anonymous (not verified)

Although I'm surprised Vermont hasn't already decrim-ed cannabis. Dean was Governor there, but he seems to be a drug warrior, unfortunately.
Let's hope for the best in VT and the whole USA!

Fri, 01/11/2008 - 11:48am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Back when he was a legislator, our current Gov. Douglas supported limited legalization of mj. However as Governor he has been an adamant drug warrior similar to Gov. Dean before him. What does the Governor really believe? He keeps changing his mind and does not really seem committed to ending prohibition- just little baby steps that seem politically acceptable- despite the fact that the majority of Vermonters (if asked the right question) overwhelmingly support and end to prohibition- especially regarding cannabis.
As an active anti-prohibitionist since '67 and full time one in Vermont, I've held annual rallies in Burlington since '89, testified before HOuse and Senate Health & Welfare and Ag Cte's. and as founder/chair of the Vt. Grassroots Party from '92-2000 and as a candidate for Gov against Dean twice in the 90's, I was aware of how few legislators supported an end to prohibition. In fact a few years ago Burlington had a referendum about med mj and they had the largest turnout for any referendum in Burlington history and had the largest amount in support of med mj-82.5%. However, a poll showed that only 30% of Burlingtonians felt their neighbors viewed the issue the same as they did. Big disconnect because people are still in the closet about this issue. I doubt Douglas's latest support for limited decrim and see it more as a political maneuver to show he can work with some Democrats and Progressives on this issue.

Fri, 01/11/2008 - 3:52pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I think Vermon's criteria is broader than many states, but does not include things like PTSD and (am I incorrect) control of seizures, asthma and muscle spasms.

Personally I think anyone who smokes on a regular basis is using it medicinally.

I am moving from SF to Vermont, and tho I am glad there is now Med Marijuana available in Vermont, I think the list of its medical uses is too limited.

A note of info just for the value of it.

Pot is an antihistamine, and the lethargy that some chronic pot smokers experience is from too low levels of histamine. This can be remedied by eating overripe fruit, especially bananas, and there are supplements: See below.

"Low histamine persons have certain identifiable traits: They are irritable, tire very easily, become frustrated quickly, and gain weight in a pear-shaped distribution (hips and thighs adding the most pounds). They have a low tolerance for medications....
other benefits of raising histamine levels are increased energy and libido, needing less sleep, and feeling less irritable. This research and treatment was developed by the late Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D., a histamine researcher and founder of the famed Princeton BioCenter in SkilIman, New Jersey."

"High histamine levels can be a problem, too... daily doses of methionine, an amino acid that detoxifies histamine in the brain. Calcium taken morning and evening also lowers histamine."

One sign of high histamine is if you sneeze when you go into the sunlight.
Histamine plays an important role in body function, and the correct amount is necessary. My Theory: maybe the munchies (which not all smokers get) is the body's cry to restore histamine levels.

Can anyone tell me who to contact to encourage a broadening of the acceptable medical problems that would qualify a person for a med pot script? There is so much research available now that it is not a guessing game.


Tue, 04/21/2009 - 3:38pm Permalink

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