VT Moves Forward With Marijuana Legalization Study

Rand Corp. is set to begin a study on the possible impacts of marijuana legislation in Vermont, the results of which could have broad implications for cannabis legalization efforts across the country.

Officials from Rand Corp. – a prestigious research firm – will be in Vermont early next week to do initial work on the project.

Areas for study will be far-ranging, including everything from tax revenues and estimates of cannabis use to potential long-term public health impacts and highway safety concerns. Recreational marijuana programs in Colorado and Washington will also be examined for lessons that can be applied in Vermont.

If the study shows states can anticipate more benefits than drawbacks of legalization, it could help fuel efforts to pass recreational marijuana measures in Vermont and other areas.

Vermont State Sen. David Zuckerman plans to propose a bill in the 2015 legislative section to regulate and legalize marijuana for recreational use.

“I think the study will help with legislators and the public who inherently think it’s a good idea but want evidence they can hold up to show people,” he said.

The study was authorized as part of a broader update to the state’s medical marijuana law.

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