A broad coalition of educators, public health advocates, scientists, treatment workers and others, under the coalition of SAM Vermont, fought the measure. SAM Action, the 501(c)(4) companion organization to SAM, also contributed to the effort through educational media messages. And although the marijuana lobby outspent them by far, public health ultimately prevailed over profits.
“This is a huge sigh of relief for Vermont and our public health community, especially in a period where we are facing a serious and growing opiate crisis,” said SAM Vermont Executive Director Debby Haskins. “The last thing we needed amidst an addiction crisis is increased access and availability to drugs. We are pleased that the Big Marijuana agenda will not be allowed to disrupt our efforts to protect and improve the health of Vermonters.”
Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of SAM and SAM Action added, “The marijuana industry came into this debate sure of victory — and a new market — in Vermont. They will have to look elsewhere now. Today represents a tremendous victory for public health over private profits.”
The Vermont House also voted down provisions to allow home production of marijuana as well as put a non-binding referendum about legalization on the 2016 ballot. The House did vote to create a committee to study legalization. The Senate will likely call for a conference committee where the legalization proposal could be revived, but it is highly unlikely.
For more information about marijuana policy, please visithttps://learnaboutsam.org.