Shumlin signs legal pot bill

MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a medical marijuana bill into law that will create several medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont in the coming year or two.

The Legislature passed the bill even though there was fierce opposition from the state law enforcement officials and anti-drug groups.

Medical marijuana has been permitted in Vermont since 200. Patients and their caregivers are permitted to grow small amounts of hemp.

Some critics say the dispensaries will open themselves up to criminal activity by announcing their locations. Legislators were unfazed by the charges.

Vermont is the eighth state to permit registered marijuana users legal outlets for the drug.

State Sen. Jeanette White said, "we left medical marijuana users in a bind; on the one hand, we granted them the right to use this drug, but did not provide them with a safe way to find it."

The Vermont Department of Public Safety is now charged with issuing a total of four dispensary licenses within one year.

So far, White said two Vermont residents have expressed an interest in establishing a dispensary.

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