Vermont, which this year expanded access to its medical marijuana program, plans to study the potential effects of legalizing pot.
The state has hired the Rand Corporation, a non-partisan public policy think, to research what legalization might mean for Vermont’s economy, public health and safety, according to this report in the Brattleboro Reformer.
A new state law directed Vermont officials to study legalization’s potential tax implications, reports Katie Jickling. The report is due early next year.
Rand has not taken a position on marijuana legalization, notes Jickling.
Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding said the study will cover a much more comprehensive list of topics than tax policy.
It will include estimates of marijuana usage in Vermont, long-term public health implications, effects on driving and highway safety, savings for law enforcement and lessons Vermont could learn from legalization in Colorado and Washington.
“(Gov. Peter Shumlin) was clear with me that he wanted to have a thorough and objective study of all of the public policies, not just taxation,” Spaulding said. “There are a lot of things that will be tailored to Vermont’s particular situation.”
A poll conducted earlier this year by the Marijuana Policy Project found 57 percent of Vermonters support marijuana legalization.
Other marijuana news you might want to check out:
The Chicago Tribune has this interesting graphic deconstructing marijuana’s cannabinoids. The chart accompanies this story about the role a major Chicago hospital hopes to play in dispensing medical marijuana.
The Huffington Post’s Matt Ferner reports on a new Quinnipiac poll that finds support among Colorado voters for clubs where people can consume cannabis. Voters, however, don’t want people lighting up in traditional bars and other venues.
— Noelle Crombie
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