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Vermont House Says Very Sick Can Use Marijuana

 
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Lilli
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister


Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 3371

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 5:58 am    Post subject: Vermont House Says Very Sick Can Use Marijuana Reply with quote

Quote:
House: Very Sick Can Use Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 14, 2004 at 08:13:23 PT
By James Jardine, Special To The Caledonian-Record
Source: Caledonian-Record

Montpelier, VT -- The House of Representatives spent four hours Thursday debating proposals to allow patients suffering from chronic pain to smoke marijuana to alleviate their pain.
The debate followed a vote late Wednesday in the Senate to allow certain seriously ill patients to possess limited amounts of marijuana. After the Senate amended a House bill by adding a medical marijuana section, the bill returned to the House for a vote.

The House debate was emotional and divisive. Supporters of the proposal to allow patients to possess marijuana said they believed allowing patients in intractable pain to smoke marijuana to relieve the pain was a kind and compassionate act that would be limited to a small number of people each year. Opponents said the bill would violate federal law, which makes the possession and use of marijuana, a Class A regulated drug, illegal. They said approving legislation that violates federal law violates the oath of office legislators took when they were sworn in.

The final vote of the day approved a House bill dealing with medical care directives amended by a House Health and Welfare Committee marijuana proposal by a vote of 79-48 with 23 members not voting. The vote meant the proposal was approved on its second reading and was advanced for a third and final vote today.

The proposal approved by the House requires a patient to have an established doctor-patient relationship for six months prior to a patient's application to possess and use marijuana. To be eligible, a patient must be receiving end-of-life care for cancer or AIDS or other specific conditions with intractable symptoms and no success with other treatments.

Patients may possess a limit of one mature plant, two immature plants and two ounces of usable marijuana. A patient must complete an application with the Department of Public Safety. The department will review the application and conduct a criminal records check. The applicant must pay a $100 application fee.

Northeast Kingdom representatives voting in favor of the House Health and Welfare proposal include Donald Bostic, R-St. Johnsbury, David Brown, R-Walden, John Rodgers, D-Glover, and Bobby Starr, D-Troy. Kingdom representatives who voted against the proposal were David Bolduc, R-Orleans, David Clark, R-St. Johnsbury, John Hall, R-Newport, Cola Hudson, R-Lyndon, Bill Johnson, R-Canaan, Duncan Kilmartin, R-Newport, Leigh Larocque, R-Barnet, Janice Peaslee, R-Guildhall, Loren Shaw, R-Derby, and Nancy Sheltra, R-Derby. Steve Larrabee, R-Danville, was absent for the vote.

The passage of the House version of a marijuana bill followed votes on two earlier proposals. Rep. David Zuckerman, P-Burlington, introduced an amendment that was more liberal in its scope than the Health and Welfare version. It was defeated by a vote of 49 in favor and 87 against. Rep. Bobby Starr, D-Troy, was the only Kingdom representative to vote in favor of the Zuckerman proposal. On the next vote, the House voted to substitute the Health and Welfare amendment in place of the Senate amendment by a vote of 113-21.

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the bill on its third and final reading. If it is approved, which is likely, the bill must return to the Senate for a vote. The Senate must vote on whether to approve the House action, which substitutes a House amendment for an amendment approved by the Senate Wednesday night.

Wednesday night the full Senate took up a bill titled "Directives for Health Care." The bill, H.752, is a House bill that outlines new guidelines and rules for persons who wish to create advanced directives for their health care should they become seriously ill. After the full House passed the bill, it went to the Senate for a vote.

While in the Senate, the Senate amended the House advanced directives bill by tacking on a Senate medical marijuana proposal. The Senate then approved the marijuana amendment and subsequently approved the underlying bill and its amendment and returned the amended House bill to the House for a new vote.

The Senate action Wednesday night set up the four-hour House debate and votes on Thursday.

Sen. Bernier Mayo, R-Caledonia, was one of 17 senators who sponsored the medical marijuana amendment. The proposal to amend the advanced directives bill passed by a vote of 22-6. The amended bill was then approved by the Senate on a voice vote.

Locally, Sens. Mayo and James Greenwood, R-Essex-Orleans, voted to approve the marijuana amendment, while Sens. Vincent Illuzzi, R-Essex-Orleans, and Julius Canns, R-Caledonia, opposed adding the marijuana amendment.


Sidebar: Montpelier

Statehouse Shocker

Loren Shaw Not Seeking Re-election

Says He 'Got The Sword' From GOP

By James Jardine, Special To The Caledonian-Record

Following a historic vote by the House of Representatives to approve a bill that would allow severely ill patients to possess and consume marijuana, Rep. Loren Shaw, R-Derby, told the House that he would not be seeking re-election.

Moments earlier, representatives voted to approve a bill dealing with advanced directives for health care. The bill was amended by the House to include the creation of a program that allows certain patients to use marijuana to treat chronic pain.

After the vote, Shaw addressed the House saying, "Mr. Speaker, I thought I could make a difference when I ran for the House, but have now found out different. For you Republicans who voted for this bill, enjoy next year but I will not be part of your party and will not seek re-election."

After the House adjourned, fellow legislators came up to Shaw and told him they sympathized with his position, but they begged him to reconsider and urged him to change his mind and seek re-election. Shaw said he "got the sword from my own party one too many times." He said the vote to support marijuana possession and use "really got to me" because "it's illegal - what don't they understand?"

He added, "What bothers me most is that I took an oath of office" to uphold the law. Shaw believes those who voted in favor of the bill violated their oath of office.

Shaw, a Derby resident, has been a member of the House since 2001 and is finishing his second term. He is a businessman and owns a Newport restaurant.

Source: Caledonian-Record (VT)
Author: James Jardine, Special To The Caledonian-Record
Published: Friday, May 14, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Caledonian-Record News
Website: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/
Contact: gonyawm@caledonian-record.com

Related Articles & Web Sites:

Marijuana Policy Project
http://www.mpp.org/

Medical Marijuana Information Links
http://freedomtoexhale.com/medical.htm

House Says Very Sick Can Use Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18854.shtml

Governor Reiterates Opposition To Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18811.shtml

MMJ Law Heads To Vermont House for Vote
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18808.shtml


_________________
"Today I choose to be happy. Today nothing will bother me. Today I'll have a great day!"
Lord Help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that YOU and I together cannot handle.
http://www.missouri-thc-ministries.tk
" I pass to you the torch that Christ once passed to me,others are still in the dark an need the light to see"
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Lilli
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister


Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 3371

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Medical Pot OK'd; Session Ending Today
Posted by CN Staff on May 20, 2004 at 08:06:07 PT
By Darren M. Allen & John Zicconi
Source: Rutland Herald

Montpelier -- A measure legalizing the use and possession of marijuana by people suffering from AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis crossed its final legislative hurdle Wednesday, paving the way for it to become law without the signature of Gov. James Douglas.
Senators, voting 20-7 in favor of the heavily lobbied bill, made Vermont's Legislature only the second in the country - Hawaii is the other - to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

The bill was sent to the governor, who confirmed that he would decline to sign it, meaning the measure automatically becomes law in five days.

Vermont will become the ninth state with such a law on the books. In seven of those states voters, not legislators, approved the medical marijuana legislation.

"I will not oppose this decision of the elected representatives of the people, nor will I support it by signing it into law," Douglas said in a statement. "I cannot actively support a measure that allows Vermonters to be subject to prosecution under federal law, increases the availability of a controlled substance and sends a dangerous message to our children."

According to administration officials, the White House lobbied Douglas to veto the bill.

Indeed, President Bush's deputy drug czar came to Vermont last month in a daylong lobbying blitz, and, in the last several days, a Bush administration official placed a phone call to Douglas urging his rejection of the bill.

The new law is actually a much narrower package than that passed earlier this year by the Senate. And while the governor was poised to veto that measure, he was said to be cognizant of the political popularity of making marijuana available to terminally ill people.

"I believe that we owe Vermonters with debilitating medical conditions the very best that medical science has to offer," Douglas said.

"Proven science has not demonstrated that marijuana is part of that," he said. "Despite that fact, marijuana offers those with the most painful chronic diseases a measure of hope in a time of suffering."

The measure's supporters included the leader of Vermont's Catholics, who yesterday praised the governor for allowing it to become law.

"I believe this bill is a very encouraging indication that our legislature and our governor are seriously concerned about improving end-of-life care in Vermont," said Bishop Kenneth Angell of the Burlington Diocese. "I know this was a hard decision for Gov. Douglas."

Under the new law, people will be allowed to grow up to three marijuana plants in a locked room and possess 2 ounces of "usable pot."

Users will be under the supervision of the Department of Public Safety.

The medical marijuana law was the highest profile action on a day that many thought might be the biennium's last. Despite a late afternoon handshake agreement on the $955 million operating budget, legislative leaders agreed to return to the State House today, a day on which almost everyone agrees will be the session's last.

Note: Portions of article removed that are unrelated to drug policy.

Reporter Claude R. Marx contributed to this story.

Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Author: Darren M. Allen & John Zicconi, Vermont Press Bureau
Published: May 19, 2004
Copyright: 2004 Rutland Herald
Contact: info@rutlandherald.com
Website: http://www.rutlandherald.com/

Related Articles & Web Sites:

Marijuana Policy Project
http://www.mpp.org/

Medicinal Cannabis Research Links
http://freedomtoexhale.com/research.htm

Medical Marijuana Bill Will Become Law
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18878.shtml

Douglas Behind Effort To Pass Restrictive Bill
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18869.shtml

House: Very Sick Can Use Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18856.shtml

_________________
"Today I choose to be happy. Today nothing will bother me. Today I'll have a great day!"
Lord Help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that YOU and I together cannot handle.
http://www.missouri-thc-ministries.tk
" I pass to you the torch that Christ once passed to me,others are still in the dark an need the light to see"
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Lilli
Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister


Joined: 12 Dec 2003
Posts: 3371

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Douglas: Medical Marijuana Bill Will Become Law
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2004 at 15:58:07 PT
By David Gram, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press

Montpelier, Vt. -- The Senate on Wednesday gave a medical marijuana bill final legislative approval, and Gov. James Douglas said later that he would allow it to become law without his signature. "I will not oppose this decision by the elected representatives of the people, nor will I support it by signing it into law," Douglas said.
He said the House version of the bill, which was more restrictive than the Senate's but to which the Senate finally agreed, would "focus on symptom relief for a small percentage of individuals with only the most debilitating conditions."

The House changed the Senate-passed bill by shifting jurisdiction over use of marijuana by people with chronic diseases from the Department of Health to the Department of Public Safety, which includes the State Police. It narrowed the range of sick people who would be excused from arrest and prosecution on state charges, and it lowered the number of marijuana plants the patient using the drug could possess from seven to three.

In addition, the law will require the patient and one caregiver to register with the Department of Public Safety. It also requires marijuana to be kept in a locked room accessible only by the sick person and caregiver.

Douglas said he believed that the "mechanisms for preventing the diversion of the drug" have helped to convince "a majority of the people's representatives - and indeed many Vermonters themselves - that allowing this bill to become law is advisable."

Rep. David Zuckerman, P-Burlington and a leader of the House effort to pass a bill allowing the use of marijuana for pain, nausea and other symptoms, said it was the first time a state legislature had passed such a bill over the wishes of a sitting governor. "It's good to see politicians at least listened to a majority of the people," he said. "But the fact that the governor squeezed so hard that the bill lost some of its effectiveness is unfortunate."

Douglas and some lawmakers who voted for the bill noted that it does not make marijuana legal; it merely excuses a small number of people using it from arrest and prosecution on state charges.

Sen. Richard Sears, D-Bennington and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said testimony that panel heard on the bill convinced him that the Senate's more permissive version was appropriate. "Do I like this version? Heck, no," Sears said. "But it's the best we can get," Sears said during Wednesday's Senate debate.

Douglas said he hoped advocates for legalization of marijuana for recreational use would not take cheer from the new Vermont law. "To ease suffering is commendable, but to crusade for legalization of an addictive, destructive and dangerous drug is contemptible."

Douglas voted to decriminalize marijuana as a young House member in 1978.

Source: Associated Press
Author: David Gram, Associated Press Writer
Published: May 19, 2004
Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press

Related Articles & Web Site:

Medicinal Cannabis Research Links
http://freedomtoexhale.com/research.htm

Douglas Behind Effort To Pass Restrictive Bill
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18869.shtml

House: Very Sick Can Use Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18856.shtml

Governor Reiterates Opposition To Med Marijuana
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18811.shtml



_________________
"Today I choose to be happy. Today nothing will bother me. Today I'll have a great day!"
Lord Help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that YOU and I together cannot handle.
http://www.missouri-thc-ministries.tk
" I pass to you the torch that Christ once passed to me,others are still in the dark an need the light to see"
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