Weekly Roll Up: March 2, 2018
Welcome to the Weekly Roll Up, Heady Vermont’s regular review of the top cannabis news locally, from our region and beyond.
In advance of Town Meeting Day next Tuesday, Heady Vermont wanted to hear from Burlington’s mayoral candidates on cannabis policy issues.
Two of the three candidates, incumbent Democrat Miro Weinberger and Independent Carina Driscoll — who has the Progressive nomination — responded to our questionnaire. Unfortunately, a third candidate, Independent Infinite Culcleasure, did not respond to multiple messages seeking a response to the questionnaire.
The responses from Driscoll and Weinberger are worth a read if you live in Burlington and are undecided, or if you’d just like to hear how leaders in Vermont’s largest city view cannabis.
On Thursday, the Vermont House of Representatives approved a roadside saliva testing bill, a knee-jerk political response to the legalization of cannabis for adults, which passed earlier this year and takes effect July 1.
The measure needs approval in the Senate and from Gov. Phil Scott before it becomes law, but critics are aghast that the bill has made it this far. The tests can’t measure impairment, just the presence of drugs and their use is likely to have the greatest impact on poor people who can’t afford private attorneys and minorities who are pulled over at disproportionate rates.
The Vermont ACLU has also raised privacy concerns about police collecting DNA during roadside stops, which creates the potential for governmental abuses.
That move by the House coincides with a new Heady Vermont advocacy partnership with the startup New GrassRoots. It’s a service that allows people to record advocacy calls and email them to lawmakers. To learn more, check our post from earlier this week.
Finally for Vermont, there’s this report from the Brattleboro Reformer detailing concerns raised by a medical marijuana dispensary manager there.
Mike Davis, of Southern Vermont Wellness, says he’s feeling besieged as nearby Massachusetts prepares for recreational marijuana sales and Vermonters will soon be able to grow their own.
At Heady, we can thinks of one supremely elegant solution to this problem for Vermonters, and it rhymes with ax-and-webulate.
Speaking of Massachusetts, regulators there have chosen to delay the licensing of cannabis cafes and delivery businesses, but decided that such licenses will only be granted to people impacted by the War on Drugs, reports the Boston Globe.
Those rulings constitute a compromise brokered by regulators between activists and Gov. Charlie Baker, who had sought the delay of such licenses. Activists said the governor’s call for delay would most impact smaller entrepreneurs, who were more likely to have been victimized by federal drug policy.
How’s that for an elegant solution?
Meanwhile in Maine, Culture Magazine reports that a portion of the state’s legal cannabis law has taken effect. That new segment of statute prevents employers from firing adults over 21 for simply having cannabis in their system.
That seems like sound policy to us. Montpelier did you hear that?