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Vermont Ready to Make Med. Marijuana Legal

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WASHINGTON, Jun 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Vermont residents are set to join the growing but still exclusive club made up of people who can use medical marijuana without the fear of arrest.

A new state law taking effect July 1 ends state sanctions for persons using marijuana for medical purposes, something supporters of the liberalization of U.S. anti-marijuana laws hailed as major victory.

"The effort to protect medical marijuana patients continues to build momentum," Steve Fox, the director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project said Wednesday.

"The victory in Vermont comes on top of recent endorsements of medical marijuana laws," he said, and called on the U.S. Congress "to put an end to this cruel war on the sick."

When the law goes into effect Thursday, Vermont will become the ninth state to extend legal protection to medical marijuana users. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all have similar laws.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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