Should Vermont legalize recreational marijuana? (WCAX)

By MELISSA HOWELL | July 24, 2014


MONTPELIER, Vt. – It’s a topic that’s spreading rapidly across the nation– bringing the marijuana black market into the light.

“I think the first thing we need to figure out is do we want to go down this road at all,” Vt. Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said.

The legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Vermont is a hot topic. Now, the state is bringing in Rand Corporation to research what that could mean if policymakers decided to move forward.

“I think it’s a huge help to us and really the question for us is what does it mean financially? What does it mean in terms of health impact? What does it mean in terms of quality of life? What would the implications be for Vermont?” Spaulding said.

“The first section is going to assess the marijuana landscape in Vermont, providing information about total consumption, information about the criminal justice resources that are being spent when it comes to marijuana,” said Beau Kilmer of the Rand Corporation.

The study will also explore marijuana policy options, consequences and how other states have adapted.

“I imagine we’ll be getting information from some of the health agencies, and also law enforcement agencies in the state to make sure that we’re getting really good information, as current as possible too for the state of Vermont,” Kilmer said.

The state will shell out $20,000 for the study. Rand Corporation has also received a grant from Good Ventures Foundation for $100,000. The report will be complete by Jan. 15, just in time for the legislative session.

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