Capitol Beat: Medical marijuana system expanded

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law last week to expand Vermont’s medical marijuana system by allowing doctors to avoid highly addictive opiates when treating some conditions such as chronic pain.

“At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management,” Shumlin said. “This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive.” 

Under the legislation, S.14, Vermonters with glaucoma, chronic pain and patients under hospice care will now have access to medical marijuana. Those conditions were added to ones that already have access to medical marijuana, including cachexia or wasting syndrome, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, seizures, severe pain and severe nausea. 

The new law also calls for childproof packaging and increased labeling requirements to marijuana-infused products sold at dispensaries.

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