Lawmakers question Douglas’ stance on medical marijuana

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Two Vermont House Republicans say Governor Jim Douglas is behind a push to pass a medical marijuana bill this year. One of those legislators, Loren Shaw of Derby, says he’s so upset by the decision that he won’t seek re-election in November.

The bill would exempt certain sick patients from arrest for using marijuana to alleviate pain. It was passed by the House last week. A less restrictive version was approved by the Senate last year.

Shaw and fellow Derby Republican Nancy Sheltra say they were led to understand it was the governor’s wish to pass the House bill to defuse a campaign issue. A spokesman for Douglas says the administration told House leaders to pass a bill that is as narrow as possible.

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