The report reveals Shumlin’s five key requirements
saying such a system should:
- have protections in place to keep adolescents from buying;
- feature taxes modest enough to keep prices low, and hence put black-market sellers out of business;
- provide tax revenue to expand addiction prevention programs;
- strengthen existing DUI laws;
- and finally, ban the sale of edible marijuana products that have proven vexing in Colorado and elsewhere, at least until the state can figure out how to regulate them properly.
And here’s the other side of the coin
Digital VPR report
The future of a bill to legalize marijuana is very much in doubt on this first day of the 2016 session. House Speaker Shap Smith says there are still many outstanding questions about the plan, and he doesn’t think it’s ready for a full debate at this time.
At the end of the 2015 session, many backers of a bill to legalize marijuana were optimistic that their legislation would be adopted in the second year of the biennium, but some of the momentum for the bill seems to be slipping away.
House Speaker Shap Smith says he’s generally a supporter of legalization, but he says there are still many unanswered questions with the bill. For instance, who would be allowed to grow marijuana, how would it be distributed to retail outlets, and can law enforcement officials come up with a plan to test potentially impaired drivers.
“It’s much more complicated than most people think. It’s not just turn a switch on and all of sudden you have legalization of marijuana,” Smith says. “It just doesn’t feel like we have done all the work that’s necessary to flesh those issues out to pass it this year.”