By Bob Orleck
Most Vermonters believe they would never fall for a scam. None would ever expect the Vermont Senate to perpetrate a fraud on the people. That very thing happened in the form of S.216 that was passed by the Senate on March 3.
It is a sham that expands the conditions that qualify an individual for “medical marijuana” to any condition and for any person, no matter of age. It is a scheme to establish a system of “fake” medicine to further the game plan of the marijuana industry for full commercialism that will allow anyone for any reason to buy marijuana for the high they desire and the profit the industry demands. It is now up to the Vermont House to recognize what is happening and stop it before it is too late.
S.216 bill returns us to the days of flimflam men who hawked “snake oil” from the back of a horse drawn medicine wagon. They sold their snake oil, elixirs, and potions as remedies for all illnesses and diseases when in fact they cured none of them. These products were called “medicine” and the gullible sick wanted to believe the claims, so they came back repeatedly to buy more. Such repeat business was aided by many of the product’s addictive ingredients such as alcohol, opium and cocaine. The marijuana industry, with its addictive drug, seems to be following the same playbook as the flimflam man.
Credibility for medical marijuana is lacking among the medical community as it is. That credibility was strained even more when the Legislature wrongly expanded it to include PTSD over the strong medical and scientific objections of psychiatrists and other physicians. S.216 brings medical marijuana now fully into the realm of “folk remedy” status, suitable for all conditions, without any science to back that up. It is dangerous legislative folly, and if marijuana has any medical value at all, such an action strains even that credibility to the limit.
Most are aware that medical marijuana was invented by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to fool people into accepting marijuana use, and once that happened the move could more easily be made for full legalization. That worked beyond their wildest dreams, but even more, this action incredulously reveals that the Vermont Legislature is in on that scheme. This is not about medicine — there is no standardization, no maximum or minimum strengths, and no showing that any of the products meet risk-benefit determinations, let alone safety and purity.
If this becomes law, all that will be needed will be the horse drawn medicine wagon. Such a law will lure charlatan “health care providers” who will, for a fee, be very willing to give their blessing on any condition a patient might have or feign to enable that person to buy marijuana from their assigned dispensary. When this happens, the entire system will become a total joke that lacks any humor because people will be injured and die because of it.
Bob Orleck is a retired pharmacist and former Vermont assistant attorney general. He lives in Randolph.