Senate Approves Police Access To Drug Files

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The Vermont Senate has voted to allow police access without a search warrant to a database of Vermonters’ prescriptions maintained by the Vermont Department of Health.

In an 18-11 vote after more than two hours of debate on Wednesday, the Senate rejected the arguments of some members that allowing police access to the database would violate rights against search and seizure promised by the U.S. and Vermont constitutions.

The majority sided with those saying police access would not be unlimited, and that investigators need to be able to crack down on an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the state.

The House earlier voted to require a search warrant before police got access to the database. A conference committee likely will have to work out the difference.

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