March 24, 2016

House Testimony “Drives” Marijuana Legalization Further

Print More

(Montpelier)—“If marijuana is legalized, we’re going to put more impaired drivers on the road,” said retired Burlington Chief of Police, Michael Schirling this morning in a crowded committee room of the Vermont House Judiciary. The fervent committee, and equally fervent witnesses, blasted questions, concerns and issues with the bill regarding the legalization of marijuana, S.241.

Today the committee heard testimony from a range of advocates, mainly those for highway safety. Facts and statistics about legalization were spewed at the committee, hosting an array of usual suspects: various statistics from Colorado, Washington, and the Netherlands regarding their policy, the outcomes and the impact of legalization on their populations.

Of these facts, it is apparent that the main concerns of both the committee and the witnesses are the manner in which roadside testing will be performed, and how the potential bill would affect the black market. While the witnesses are advocates for highway safety, public safety in general is of concern as well. The witnesses and committee discussed the potential for roadside tests, which could be employed within a year, as well as the prospects for keeping our children safe, figuring this bill passes and marijuana becomes a regulated drug, like alcohol.

“The biggest problem we have isn’t marijuana, the bigger problem is opiates,” said the Commissioner of the Department for Public Safety, Keith Flynn. Flynn mentioned the people dying on a daily basis because of opiate abuse, and enlightened the room to the issue of where our resources are being spent. The opiate drug addiction crisis is growing in Vermont, which was noted by both Schirling and Flynn. Should we really be focusing solely on how to stop citizens from driving high, while there are people driving under the influence of narcotics?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *