Montpelier, Vt. – Vermonts Joint Justice Oversight Committee sat through testimony about factors playing into the state’s recreational marijuana legalization efforts.
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This issue is not going to go away, said Sen. Dick Sears. The biggest concern, I think, is that it’s already going on.
Back in the spring, the House voted overwhelmingly against the Senate-passed plan to legalize the drug. Some representatives said they felt too rushed to make a decision.
Does it make sense to keep that system the way it is or should we regulate it, tax it and have it be a product that people over 21 can buy? Sears said.
With the drug still illegal through federal guidelines, there are constitutional issues to consider.
Because of the federal law, the banking, it’s a cash industry. But for some reason credit unions are able to, have developed a relationship with the medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont to provide banking services, Sears said.
Its an issue that is unique to marijuana.
That’s why a lot of these issues havent worked their way through the courts yet, said Assistant Attorney General Ben Battles.
But with five more hearings to go, Sears hopes a little legwork may help push the issue along this session.
Hopefully we’re better prepared than we were last year to respond to some of the concerns of some of our colleagues and our constituents, Sears said.