Vermont legislature on track to be first in U.S. to legalize marijuana

Daily News Article - March 15, 2016


1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. a) What would the law passed by the Vermont state Senate do if it is passed by the house?
b) What would the law prohibit people from doing?

3. How does the Senate explain their vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana?

4. a) When is the deadline for the house to vote?
b) Why might this be difficult to meet?

5. a) In what states have voters passed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana?
CHALLENGE: Do a search to name the states that are to vote on legalization in November.

6. What effect will the bill’s passage by Vermont’s house have on the rest of the country, according to advocates (supporters)?

7. Debby Haskins of a group opposed to legalization of recreational marijuana noted that Vermont, like many U.S. states, is coping with a surge in addiction to opioid drugs, ranging from prescription painkillers to heroin. She said she believed health officials needed to solve that problem before legalizing a new drug.
a) Do you agree with Ms. Haskins? Explain your answer.
b) Ms. Haskins also said, "The questions that keep coming up for me is, how will this make Vermont healthier and how will this improve the quality of life? I don't think this bill does it. It's the wrong direction for us to be heading."
What do you think: will this bill make Vermont healthier? will it improve the quality of life? Explain your answers.

8. Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark said, ”If it's one in eight [residents who already use marijuana], to me that tells me that we need to change, that society for the most part is accepting it.”
Is this a good reason for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana?