The Rand Corp. will be in Vermont next week to study marijuana legalization’s potential effects in Vermont. The study will look at how marijuana legalization would affect Vermont’s economy, individual health, and public safety. The study will involve estimated marijuana usage in Vermont, public health implications, potential drugged driving issues, law enforcement savings from not enforcing marijuana prohibition, and how Vermont would compare to Colorado and Washington. The study was mandated by a bill passed by the Vermont Legislature last session.
Per the Manchester Journal:
The state will pay $20,000 toward the study, which will be augmented by as much as $100,000 in private donations, officials said Friday.
Passed in late April, S.247 eliminated the 1,000-person cap on the number of people who can use medical marijuana dispensaries. The Legislature added a mandate that the state conduct a study on “possible taxing systems” for Vermont, potential costs and benefits for the state, and the experiences of other states. The results of the study are due to the Legislature by Jan. 15.
Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding said the study will cover a much more comprehensive list of topics than tax policy.
Vermont is one of many states that is eyeing marijuana legalization in 2016. The Vermont Legislature could potentially legalize marijuana even sooner. I don’t think that the $20,000 being paid by Vermont is an issue, but the other $100,000 that is being paid by GiveWell might be. With a private entity putting up 5/6th of the cost of the study, I hope it doesn’t skew results or affect how the study is conducted. I don’t have reason to believe that GiveWell has a hidden agenda, but I’m always leery of private entity’s motives when they fund a marijuana study. I’ll post the results of the study once they are available.