The title that Vermont is the first state to legalize a drug is a bit misleading when the article itself correctly reports that the drug is already legal in Oregon.
The article unfairly caught my attention. But it was informative and the links to other information were valuable. Like many opioid drugs (eg, methadone), buprenorphine has the potential for abuse and has a market value. I liked the connection to the opposing conservative view of Vermont Health Commissioner Levine that doctors, not patients, should monitor the use of prescription drugs, including the treatment of overdoses.
I can refer interested readers to the alarming but thoughtful and informed book by Columbia University professor Dr. Carl Hart entitled “Drug Use for Grownups”. The well-referenced Wikipedia article on buprenorphine gives some idea of the complexity of administering opioid drugs. We would be wise to monitor this matter during the two-year window of the act.
One of the advantages of our national state rights system is that a variety of states intelligently test the science and the results of changes in social policies and laws. I learned this idea in my civics class in high school and I’m addicted to it. An experiment is simply a controlled experiment. Uh, Vermont!
Editor’s Note: Although possession of buprenorphine is no longer a crime in Oregon, where limited possession of all drugs has been decriminalized – Vermont is the only state to have specifically legalized small amounts of the substance, which is commonly prescribed as Suboxone and Subutex.
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