- Associated Press - Thursday, April 25, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Vermont faces an uncertain future with Republican Gov. Phil Scott insisting that it include a saliva test to determine driver impairment and key lawmakers questioning the reliability of the test.

The governor has said that he would support a bill allowing for the retail sale and state regulation of marijuana if it includes a roadside saliva test, funding for more education and the option for towns to prohibit a retail marijuana operation from setting up in their community, Vermont Public Radio reported.

“I’ve said I’m not philosophically opposed to this but I want the certain conditions and I think that we have a responsibility to make sure we do this right. And I think these are provisions that would help us get there,” Scott said Thursday.

Chloe White of the Vermont ACLU said a big problem with the test is that marijuana can remain in a person’s system for weeks after being used.

“We really don’t think that they are useful in this situation,” White said. “All they do is show any sort of presence, which doesn’t imply impairment.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Sears, a sponsor of the bill, said he could consider adding a saliva test, but he’s not sure that the full Senate would back it. He said he also agrees with White’s assessment of the test.

“I don’t know why people have gotten so hung up on the saliva test when the test is basically meaningless,” Sears said.

In the House, Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Maxine Grad said she isn’t comfortable with using a roadside saliva test now.

“Right now it looks like that it has not been scientifically proven as effective,” she said.


Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net

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