This week the Vermont Senate is expected to consider a medical marijuana bill that would create a dispensary system in the state. Medical marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2004, but the law only allows for registered patients to grow their own cannabis. For those who find that too difficult to do, the only other option is the black market.

People like Shayne Lynn, a professional photographer from Burlington, Vermont, see the bill as an opportunity to bring relief to a multitude of patients.

“People having to go out and buy it on a corner from someone — it’s not right,” Lynn said. “I see this as an opportunity to run a successful, local, nonprofit business which would provide medical respectability to the current and future patients on the registry. It would open a more honest, serious dialogue about the benefits of cannabis.”

As I’ve said many times before, a medical marijuana system cannot be considered truly viable unless there is a retail apparatus for supplying patients. To give sick people the option of medical cannabis but giving them no way to buy it is like giving someone a medical card then closing down all the pharmacies.

Just because cannabis can be grown doesn’t mean it’s any easy thing to do for someone who needs it to battle a terrible ailment. Some of these people are lucky to get out of bed in the morning, but they are supposed to tend a marijuana garden?

Our Vermont readers need to make sure they contact their local representatives and let them know they favor a dispensary system for their state.

Joe Klare

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