Senate Committee Holds Pot Hearings Around State

Jan 19, 2016

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a series of public hearings in southern Vermont Monday on marijuana legalization.

The five lawmakers were in Bennington, Brattleboro and Springfield to gather testimony on two bills the Judiciary Committee is considering that would create a regulated market for marijuana.

Committee Chairman Dick Sears said he wanted to leave the Statehouse to hear from Vermonters who can't get up to Montpelier to testify.

"Quite frankly, here in Brattleboro and in Bennington we picked up some ideas that we'll probably put into the bill," Sears said.

Marta Gossage used medicinal marijuana in California and said she wanted the state to allow the sale of edibles to make it easier for patients to understand their dosage.

"But I really did find it very, very, useful to have this lozenge ... you could break this piece off and know exactly, lab tested, how much was in it, and exactly how much worked for me to be able to get to sleep at night," Gossage said.

Most of the speakers in Brattleboro supported legalization, though a handful of people cautioned the state from moving ahead too quickly.

The committee has hearings scheduled Tuesday in Burlington and Wednesday in St. Johnsbury.

Sen. Sears said he wanted the Judiciary Committee to vote on the marijuana bills on Friday, Jan. 29.