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A Simple Plan For Solving Brattleboro's Budget Problems


There is a simple way to solve all of Brattleboro’s current financial problems.

We can solve our budget problem. We can solve our problems of being a hub town providing services to surrounding towns,. We can raise our Grand List and add new jobs and businesses. We can support local farmers. We can pay for the Police and Fire facilities.

It’s not even that difficult.

Vermont needs to legalize marijuana and start a local option tax on its sale and use like Colorado and Washington have done, and before surrounding states jump on it.

For reference, Business Insider says Colorado expects up to $98 million in revenue from the sale of legal marijuana in the first year. (The Tax Foundation estimates a more conservative $70 million). Local governments, they say, keep 15% of the sales tax revenue. Forbes reports that Colorado sold $14.02 million worth of recreational marijuana - in January. Use of marijuana, polls say, has not increased or decreased since legalization.

“The biggest problem is actually how to spend the money: it’s not exactly a terrible problem to have.” - Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes , 3/11/2014.

Brattleboro would benefit substantially from a local option marijuana tax. Being close to New Hampshire and Massachusetts (and Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York City), Brattleboro would be the first stop for many coming to enjoy legal marijuana in our state. We’d get a significant portion of the local option revenues.

New businesses would form, making good money and able to pay taxes and employees.

Old businesses could benefit. The Colorado Symphony, for example, is now holding BYO Cannabis events, offering music and munchies to new audiences. Our symphony, bakeries, restaurants, garden supply stores, and other businesses could adapt and profit.

Farmers would have a new source of income.

The tax would not fall on people in town requiring necessities like toothpaste. It’s a luxury and sin tax on an expensive product.

The tax revenues could be substantial. Forget about 1%. This could be 10% of a high priced item.

Those coming here to purchase marijuana from out of state would need places to use it before returning home. Art galleries, museums, musical venues, movies, and other events would be enticing, and would benefit. Tourism would get a boost.

There are medical benefits as well. Marijuana can be used for treating PTSD of vets, treating epilepsy in children, treating Alzheimers, reducing suicide rates, treating cancer, and reducing the need for opiate-based painkillers which could lead to a reduction in opiate addictions. We could be healthier as a result, and attract medical facilities (more business and jobs) interested in exploring treatment options.

Time is ticking. The greatest benefits would come from being first, and not waiting for other nearby states to get a jump on us. Vermont needs to take quick action, and southern Vermont issues could provide enough reasons to make it happen.

(It would be a shame to see New Hampshire beat us to this. They are working on it.)

We can maintain the status quo and continue to whine about our circumstances. We can wait, and let surrounding states go first and reap the rewards for being first. We can continue to let all the money currently spent on marijuana flow into the black market, untaxed. We can continue to reduce our standard of living and town services by maintaining a backward attitude toward a plant.

Or, we can take a step forward, and encourage innovation and entrepeneurship.

Want a shiny, new police station and much more? Work to legalize and tax marijuana immediately.

»

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VT in a “Let’s Study It” Mode

MONTPELIER -- Lawmakers agreed to a medical marijuana dispensary bill that includes a study of legalizing and taxing pot.

The Senate on Wednesday voted to concur with House changes to S.247. It now heads to Gov. Peter Shumlin's desk for his signature.

Shumlin praised the idea of studying legalization and taxation of marijuana at an unrelated news conference Wednesday.

"I think it does make sense for the Legislature to ask 'If we were to go down this route, what would the implications be? What would the revenue impacts be?" Shumlin said, adding that he is glad that Washington and Colorado have gone first.

Marijuana legalization advocates Wednesday also praised the bill. "We're pleased to see legislators are beginning to explore the possible benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol," said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in an emailed statement.

The Department of Public Safety, which oversees the dispensary program, also supports the legislation.

http://www.reformer.com/state/ci_25673009/vermonts-medical-marijuana-bil...

 
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Legal marijuana would be for adult consumers

I should add that legalized marijuana would not likely be given to medically treat children. Legal marijuana (along the alcohol model) would be for adult consumers (18 or 21+). Medical prescriptive card-carrying marijuana licenses would no longer be needed, and the dispensaries would close or be reformed to handle legal sales.

Adults would simply be free to purchase and use it personally. If one wanted to "medicate" they would not be required to register with the state. If an adult looked under age, licensed retailers would ask to see their driver's license, as they now do for alcohol.

However, adult marijuana users should not be required to show ID just because they buy it. We don't have to do that with alcohol and we should not have to be “carded” just because it's marijuana that's being purchased.

It’s time to remove the stigma of adult marijuana consumption.

 
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Too easy an answer

Yankee ingenuity likes things done the hard way.

 
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...after they've tried everything else

Or, as my favorite quote from Winston Churchill says, "You can count on the Americans to do the right thing...after they've tried everything else!"

 
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"The first law of success is,

'Never make things simple when you can make them complicated.'"
J. P. Morgan

 
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This is the most common sense

This is the most common sense plan for increasing revenue and easing the tax burden. Imagine not having to do battle with the budget for services as basic as a library or as huge as new police and fire stations. I'm not sure why Vermont is so reluctant to profit from marijuana. There is little risk in legalizing it - it's a much desired product with proven medical/health benefits; it doesn't come with the same set of problems that addiction to opiates may bring; it's a pretty simple and effective way for a town or city to be able to afford the services and a few bells and whistles that it's residents deserve. Vermont has been the leader in so many other important issues;legalizing gay marriage; passing the GMO labeling bill just to name a couple. Nothing or no one is being well served by Vermont's "let's see how it goes' attitude. Legalize marijuana -it's a good decision for everyone

 
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Legalize it!

It really is.
Think of the Austine building standing empty. Now think of it revamped as a resort to welcome all the people coming to town with their recreational dollars to spend in a close-to-other-states place with legal marijuana. It's good economic sense. Colorado and Washington have proved how successful it is. Let's do this.

 
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The new drug-driving laws

When I began my marijuana reform activism in 1988 I soon realized I was a Johnny-come-lately. Over the years I wondered how long it would take Americans to come forward to help. Most Americans only did so recently (in the last 5 years) and only when it seemed safe to do so.

The forces arrayed against marijuana are just as strong and determined as they ever were.

For instance, keep your eyes on the new drug-driving laws shaping up.

If they can’t get you one way, they’ll get you another.

 
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good fodder for next poll,

good fodder for next poll, how many approve/disapprove, I can just envision a 1920's scene of leisure tokers relaxing on chez-lounges with stylish zigarette extenders watching on as those playing Boshi Ball,Badminton and Croquet at the expansive Austine lawns roll down and laugh when they continually miss their mark, there has to be a future in that.

 
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A Simple Result

Chris…..Great Idea! When Brattleboro legalizes the sale of marijuana for just its residents and taxes each sale at 10%, within forty-five minutes our Selectboard will have a budget surplus in excess of one million dollars. More importantly, the current fire and police station controversy will go away because Town Meeting Representatives will forget when and why they voted for the project in the first place. Business will definitely pick up at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital for those medical professionals who specialize in Joint Replacement Therapy.

There are only three negative consequences of legalizing marijuana in Brattleboro. Users of marijuana who are not married will have to file a Joint Tax Return. Brattleboro Police will need to be re-trained from saying “Hi, how are you?” to “Hi, how high are you?” Legalizing marijuana in Brattleboro will also result in a town wide shortage of Crunchy Cheetos.

I recently sat in on a class at BUHS (Brattleboro Union High Subnormal) whose guest lecturer was a Transsexual Psychological Multi-Cultural Babble Therapist who was in town to undergo a womb implant. He or she or it told the students that the political agenda to legalize marijuana would in fact not exist if those promoting its legalization had consumed more prunes in their diet. I was highly insulted and have subsequently filed a complaint with the Vermont Department of Human Right Feelings.

 
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Wow. This comment is

Wow. This comment is offensive on so many different levels. Another Not clever or funny (which I assume was the goal) Just very, very wrong.

 
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Nothing lighthearted or amusing about it

Considering the immense harm of human suffering as a result of being ensnared the misnomer called the criminal “justice” system and the ripples shot through our social fabric as result of the drug-war, driven in large part by the marijuana war, I agree with KAlden.

There’s nothing humorous about it at all.

Neither was the comment entitled : good fodder for next poll

 
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By all means legalize it

By all means legalize it Vidda, but also know (I'm sure you do) marijuana these days is ten times as potent and not totally harmless as it was when I, for instance, indulged back in the 70's, growing a lot of our own supply we called homegrown or sometimes chimney smoke if it was a lower grade and did not turn out so hot. Today's brand for smoke-free lightweights like myself is in a word, intense, just smelling it get's you high and is enough of a buzz.
Obviously the effects of smoking anything takes it's toll on our respiratory systems we will need in good working order for the longevity of a healthier life, ingesting is harder to gage consumption for certain young individuals having no idea of the oncoming effects past the munchies for brownies, and I'm sorry when your own young adults get wrapped up in using it on a regular basis during non- recreational more serious periods such as school/work the table flips and you want to intervene knowing the negative effects it can have on their productivity/performance to their disadvantage as any drug would over a long period home field use. Outside of school it can be a social stimulus or a source of paranoia depending on any given reaction, just as alcohol can tap into an alter ego other people don't love, so who's to say what everyone needs. There are those who feel instant inspiration and excel under the influence, but my experience is this is diminished as your tolerance increases and the habit ensues. So legalize it, but make it not so readily available to obtain for the younger people falling to pier pressures that will be more prevalent as the availability becomes ubiquitous.

 
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Objectivity

If we're going to be objective, we have to compare the negative impact of legal Alcohol (which can be substantial both to individuals and to society), with the negative effects of illegal Marijuana, (far fewer - if you don't count direct consequences of its illegality).
At one time, I was a daily toker. I still managed to operate a lucrative engineering business (although, I was, perhaps a little bit less diligent than I might have been).
I never tried to give it up. One day I just didn't do it anymore, for no discernible reason.
However, giving up alcohol, even when it was causing legal and health problems was a major effort that required residential treatment. I still have physical residuals - BUT I don't want to drink anymore. Hamdu Lillah!

 
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Marijuana use has no or few addictive effects

Your experience supports the knowledge that marijuana is the least harmful substance known to drug consumers and

that it has no or few addictive effects.

As you point out out, the real danger and harm comes with criminalizing marijuana.

 
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Not so sure...

RLElkins ~Never a dull comment ~ :-)

Colorado had some trouble with people over indulging in brownies from what I've read. Other than that I think the biggest challenge was managing all the people who were flocking there to buy it, which seemed to have created a shortage.

Another piece to it, which the state would need to acknowledge is already in place, is the drug testing done by several employers. It might be legal to buy it, but what about the testing that employers use, some of them done ongoing at random? Remember, a person can tie one on over the weekend, sober up, and get back to work at sunrise on Monday with the (legal) alcohol by then out of the bloodstream. Marijuana remains in the system for much longer. So, if it's legal tomorrow, what's going to happen with the testing? We are keeping alcohol off the roads after a certain blood level - are we planning to keep marijuana off the roads at a certain level, and if so, how are we going to make the determination on level of "influence" or does marijuana not have the same impact for people paying attention and driving safely on the road?

No doubt the money will be there and the tax will be profitable, but what about safety?

 
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Marijuana thrives in a tainted criminalized environment

When a person gets home after work and smokes marijuana, the chemical signature may be indentified in blood labs and urine, but at no time should we think that when the marijuana smoker goes to work the next day that they are impaired.

The problem is that marijuana thrives in a tainted criminalized environment where research has been suppressed by the government and real knowledge of marijuana effects is mostly guesswork.

Oftentimes, legislators, many who are politically motivated and incumbency bound, are the least qualified people to make laws about marijuana, including safety and drug testing issues.

 
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uh

Although I would pay real money to watch certain political leaders, both local and not, partaking of the substance, I just wish to humbly suggest to this "politics gets me high" conversation, that not everyone gets "high" from marijuana.

 
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It's not really about how any

It's not really about how any individual person is affected by using marijuana. It's about legalizing a substance that is far less harmful than alchohol and taxing that substance to increase state and town revenues. I'm assuming that those people who didn't have a favorful reaction to the substance probably wouldn't purchase it.

 
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Choice

Spot on. It is also about individual choice for adults, who should not be treated like kids, as if they need legislators to protect them from themselves.

Marijuana prohibition started within a corrupt, political and economic collusion, very much like alcohol prohibition did, but unlike alcohol we can't get the fat monkey off of our backs.

 
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I agree, however if that same

I agree, however if that same individual is the driver of a carpool going to elementary school and chain smokes a joint the way 3 out 5 carpool mothers smoked Pall Mall 100's growing up as we kids gasped for fresh air out the station wagon windows even in winter to escape the clouds of second hand smoke in tight quarters on our 30min pick up route to school, your outlook as a passenger to the start of the day might be a little skewed, your looks a little ashen, your clothes a little stale/reeky, your breath a little strained.

 
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No Guarantees

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that anytime anyone gets behind the wheel of a car that person will behave in a responsible manner. If there were we wouldn't have the huge number of DUIs in this country that we do. One would hope that somebody driving a carful of kids wouldn't be smoking anything but personally, if they were smoking something I'd rather it was marijuana - less chance of those kids developing lung cancer, asthma or emphysema in the future. And, I'd much rather have them smoking a joint than texting while driving on our roads.

 
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Enforcement

It's obviously going to come to bear with marijuana use, along with issues like texting and driving, that there are rules to follow. I am simply questioning how that could possibly be done. The way I understand the law, is that impaired driving is already against the law for many reasons. Until they make a roadside test, as they do for alcohol, it will be impossible to determine when someone last smoked a joint. Once it's legalized, which will eventually happen, what will the threshold be.. and how can it be determined when someone has crossed it.

Currently if someone employed in a job driving (train, plane or automobile) and there's an accident, the driver is almost always tested for drugs and alcohol. Someone who tests positive for smoking mj may not have been impaired but a positive test, to the extent currently available, will say the person smoked, but won't be able to say when. Once it's legal to smoke, this detail will become very important, I would think, whether the person tested is employed in transportation of not.

If anyone were to be T-boned and badly injured, and a test came back positive for marijuana use.. well - just saying. Whether the driver at the time of the accident was impaired or not, the test is going to give a positive result. If I were a marijuana smoker I would be as concerned about that as I would expect that just as they have tests for alcohol they will be adding a test requirement (and refusal penalty) for any other legal substance.

Whether a person is impaired by smoking the stuff might be all dependent on other things, I have been around people who use it for long enough to say that it isn't as benign a substance in terms of attentiveness as some might believe.. not for everyone; just like alcohol. Legalizing it will solve some of the problems but will create others, including people going to jail like they do with alcohol for subsequent positive tests, once they legislate the whole package.

And, it is all politics. If it wasn't all politics it would never have been illegal in the first place.

 
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Cig-smokers= 99% drug addicts; Pot smokers are not addicts

Your worst case scenario here doesn’t even belong in a conversation about marijuana smokers.

To compare marijuana smokers to cigarette smokers is kinda useless.

Marijuana smokers are far more responsible than cig-smokers, more moderate,and they are primarily a drug user, not an addict.

Cig-smokers are 99% drug addicts where “chain smoking” is usually employed.

 
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Well I have to respectfully

Well I have to respectfully disagree with you there Vidda, as it is certainly true not all users are addicts, most likely the majority who like to just knock off the hard edge of the day and get creatively small and closer into their vibrant world once in a while, however those habitually using with consistent frequency choosing to remain in a stoned state can certainly be considered possessing a form of dependency to maintain a constant high they prefer to, well let's say, reality, then the big question to follow, what's reality? I for a period of years smoked just 4 cigarettes(Old Golds) an evening, but I can tell you it was extremely difficult to let just that much go and quit for good, it was enough to have a tobacco addition.

As far as generalizing that Marijuana smokers as a group are more responsible than any other kinds of smokers is a stretch, especially for those imposing second hand smoke on others who may not want to be high right there and then like unsuspecting kids sharing the same environment. It would be like saying those who start out having an occasional drink of alcohol every weekend can never become an irresponsible, deranged alcoholic upon a dramatic series of unfortunate events, every drug can finds it's source of weakness and abuse, that's the trouble with them.

 
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Respectfully disagreed

Thank you for your courtesy rootrunner, but I have never known anyone or of any research that shows that people get high from secondhand marijuana smoke. Nor have I heard of “unsuspecting kids” being unduly affected by it.

My claim that “Marijuana smokers as a group are more responsible than any other kinds of smokers” is not only not a stretch, but an indelibly positive aspect of the overall marijuana culture.

I have also found it useful to not enumerate what and why the “majority who like to just knock off the hard edge of the day, etc….” Human behavior and the reasons why should not be encapsulated like you attempt in your first sentence. There are just too many variables involved in the marijuana uses of when, what and why (this is true for all drugs, except cigarettes, which are narrowly weighted to rapid, hard core addiction, where the reasons why go up in smoke).

I also know from experience that only a small Percentage of people might fit your description of “habitually using with consistent frequency choosing to remain in a stoned state can certainly be considered possessing a form of of dependency to maintain a constant high they prefer to, well let's say, reality.” The % is so small as to hardly even note, particularly since no one acts that way their entire life.

Usage is on a continuum with peaks and valleys, not the straight-line you describe.

Again, your claim “every drug can finds it's source of weakness and abuse, that's the trouble with them" is not entirely true. Abuse is a tiny % of what takes place with drug use, and that small % is artificially inflated by the politicians and the media. In fact, I have trouble with your whole last sentence in the above comment.

 
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I accept your argument

I accept your argument emphasizing there are too many variables to distinguish user types, I have good friends that have very successful careers who smoke on a regular basis, but it has always made me uncomfortable to visit families in the home where an abundance of air born pot smoke is not suppressed circulating in the presence of young children who have no choice in the matter, rather creating an "indelible" sort affect and I do believe any kind of second hand smoke is unhealthy for those of them exposed on a regular basis and should be avoided >>>>>> to the back shed. I have the same feeling when I see a bunch of empty beer cans lingering/accumulating around resting on low levels (tables) within eye level amongst kids sharing the that same home and the impression this must give young, developing minds of this questionable excess.

 
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Most pot consumers don’t fit a reckless endangerment profile

I am with you on the young children concern. I’ve always thought that the less questionable airborne things around the very young, the better. I feel the same way about what our children are fed.

All secondhand smoke, for any age, may be unhealthy by degrees, but not necessarily be dangerous, however.

Unfortunately, the very young are more likely to be harmed by what’s under their mother’s kitchen sink or in the family medicine or liquor cabinets.

I still worry that you seemed to express a weave that sees marijuana use in worst case scenarios, when it is my nearly 50 years of society watching that most marijuana consumers do not fit a reckless endangerment profile.

Worst case scenarios are too often (and recklessly) used to make the case against a human behavior that is otherwise victimless and leastways harmful.

That’s followed by legislators who (recklessly) make laws for everyone else based on the few who may abuse.

The “questionable excess“ you're concerned about is called human behavior, at any age. It’s why many of us responsible marijuana supporters frequently recommend moderation in all things.

Chris’s original point that legalizing marijuana for an adult consuming market is “a simple way to solve all of Brattleboro’s current financial problems “ is the bigger picture.

When it is legal here, few or none of us are so insensible that we would fail to protect the very young to the best of our ability…certainly better than they would be protected from their parent’s medicine and liquor cabinets.

 
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Revenue

"Chris’s original point that legalizing marijuana for an adult consuming market is “a simple way to solve all of Brattleboro’s current financial problems “ is the bigger picture."

True. All of the problems I see listed above regarding smoking and health concerns are with us now, whether we legalize and tax it or not.

In other words, everything everyone is describing as a concern is already happening. These won't be new issues. People are already buying and smoking marijuana. We just let it all happen in the unregulated black market.

(Note the poll showing no change in marijuana use in Colorado post legalization.)

My question is should we legalize and tax it to help us solve our financial problems, not whether doing so would change the way people already use it.

The alternative is that we could keep it illegal, still have everyone who uses it continue to use it (still have people driving and secondhand smoke and concern for the children) and not collect any money. Neighboring states will go first, and Vermont will lose more income as Vermonters travel to nearby states for legal, adult consumption.

I hear real pain about local cuts in services and high taxes. Marijuana is a known pain reliever, and it appears it can help with financial pain as well.

 
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Well said, sir.

Well said, sir.

 
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We need more thinkers like you...

...in the legislature....what are you doing in the next election cycle? :)

 
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Yes!

Hear, hear. It's long past due time to take the negative and make it positive. We should face these issues head on. ;)

 
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Mmmmaybe

But all these arguments sound like the same sort of arguments for casinos. Especially the one about other states will do it first and we'll lose out. And that there is only a big positive to look at and the small negative will always be there no matter what we do. And of course now you have casinos springing up like dandelions, and to deal with any negative, the ads and the signs have leeettle teeeeny warnings and phone numbers to call if you're addicted. (The prostitution negative seems to have been a wash. There are no similar phone numbers to call if you feel the urge to go to one after gambling.)

I suppose history, or at least modern history, shows us that politics is largely a matter of weighing out benefits and losses (and fighting off undue big influence). And then when that's all done, a whole lot more of moralizing. But my only point in pointing out one little tiny negative is that the one little tiny negative isn't all that negative to the one little tiny person who experiences it.

And I would respectfully challenge the notion that there is no such thing as a second-hand high.

I never thought I'd find myself agreeing with Michael Hebert, but his approach to wait and see how things pan out in Colorado seem quite wise to me. It's only simple if you believe it is.

 
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Only one point?

“But my only point in pointing out one little tiny negative is that the one little tiny negative isn't all that negative to the one little tiny person who experiences it.”

Your only point, “that negative to the one little tiny person who experiences it” is not justification for criminalizing the whole body of marijuana users.

As for secondhand high, I said that in all of my experience over long years, I have never known or witness that to happen!! And, if it did happen one “leeettle teeeeny” time, again, it is not justification for criminalizing the whole body of marijuana users. However, your concern that it might happen is noted. There are concerns that one might fail a drug test who is exposed to secondhand smoke, again, no real empirical data that I'm aware of.

I’ve said it before, but, it is absolutely “not necessary” to “wait and see how things pan out in Colorado.” No disrespect intended but how dare anyone assume we need the intentions and workings of another state so that our Vermont can only then decide for ourselves. That’s ridiculous. We should have been the first state anyway.

But majorly, after forty years in our modern era of empirical and anecdotal evidence the thought that we need to tread fearfully on this issue is tiresome. When alcohol was re-legalized we didn’t have to look to other states to see what happened to them first. I repeat, the whole notion is riduiculous.

 
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...

Your high-mindedness about your vast personal experience in getting high blinds you from the reason for watching Colorado. Getting high as an individual is alot different than a whole society embracing it culturally (which in the end what legalizing really means). Outside of its use in primitive societies and French artistic circles and yes, Amsterdam, we've not seen the widespread use in the western world. I fail to see it as unreasonable to see Colorado as something of a social experiment worth watching and I hardly see watching what happens there as disturbing your right to want laws against marijuana repealed. From the sense of urgency you have, I would assume any negative effects in Colorado would be ignored or rationalized away anyway. As for fear of punishment, apparently it didn't ever dissuade you, and bully for you for that. But to equate your individual experience with changing the whole culture to accept the practice as being benign is a bit solipsistic of you. And to say that Vermont *should* have been the first is self-serving nonsense. Why can't Vermont be the wisest rather than being first to the party?

And I'm sorry to inform you (and KAlden) that much of our laws *have* been written to protect the individual. Certainly we have gone overboard in prosecution of marijuana laws but I think that's more likely due to prosecutorial zeal (and politics). But it is one thing to try and ameliorate that, with lower restrictions, etc, and another thing to embrace its free use as a culture.

We can argue about contact high or second hand high til kingdom comes but I really would be skeptical of the objectiveness in your observations of that if you were smoking while observing.

And I'd rather not get into a debate equating the history of alcohol with marijuana. Apples and brownies.

KAlden who responded to my "defense" of people who don't do well on marijuana with:

"It's not really about how any individual person is affected by using marijuana. It's about legalizing a substance that is far less harmful than alchohol and taxing that substance to increase state and town revenues. I'm assuming that those people who didn't have a favorful reaction to the substance probably wouldn't purchase it."

Again, I think it is very unproductive and unscientific to compare marijuana with alcohol.

No maybe this theoretically rational person wouldn't purchase it. But then again, how would they know about any reaction until they tried? I could just as easily paint a scenario where he/she would purchase it. Peer pressure and sheer curiosity to name two. And it seems plain to see that if it were widely part of the culture, it would be tried more widely and without any forethought. But I can't win arguments with such hypotheticals. But you certainly don't win arguments, or at least convince me, when you ignore the harms with a brush of the hand, let alone compare such harms with a completely other substance.

This debate seems to come with a built-in problem. Anyone offering a counter point of view is kin to "bringing everyone else down man".

 
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JUST FOR THE RECORD...

Toyboy, your response is riddled with assumptions and conjecture about me and society.
In particular, your assumption I come from “high-mindedness about [my] vast personal experience in getting high “ and your statement that “a whole society embracing (legalization) culturally… which in the end what legalizing really means“ are both false.

I love the fact - that people who know me, know that I love drinking my “port liquors” and I personally have very little to do with marijuana use. Nevertheless, as a founding member of Marijuana Resolve, I like to hope that I helped in my advocacy of current VT decriminalization laws and I currently support rational VT legalization laws for adult consumption..

And, it is simply not true that “whole society “ embraces legalization and neither does it mean that’s “what legalizing really means. “ In the same way that “whole society” does not embrace legal alcohol.

Lastly, at no time did I ever attempt “to compare marijuana with alcohol." I certaintly advocate the “legal alcohol model” framework for the regulation, licensing and distribution of marijuana for an adult marijuana marketplace, but I do not ever compare “compare marijuana with alcohol“ and, in fact, greatly –discompare- alcohol from marijuana.

 
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As for the remainder of your comments...

As for the remainder of your comments, they are so unassociated with my personal reality that to attempt to counterpoint and unravel your thinking would require a similar lengthy discourse to yours, and, that I think it would be very unproductive.

But to return to the main point of Chris’ article, I can say that in my “vast experience” the idea of adult marijuana sales significantly contributing to our tax base(es) is historically long time placed in advocacy dating back to the 1970’s, at the least.

I concur with his points and hope that our readers see fit to act on them to get this anti-marijuana disease of society behind us.

 
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I didn't ever say that laws

I didn't ever say that laws weren't written to protect individuals -what would be the point of enacting any law if it didn't serve as a real or imagined protection? Although I certainly feel that many laws are enacted in such a way that they don't do a very good job of serving the people they are meant to protect. Regarding the 'theoretical' person who would not get 'high' or who might have an adverse effect to marijuana- obviously they would have needed to try marijuana at least once to determine how it might affect them -if it wasn't a good experience they, in all liklihood, wouldn't use it again. Your argument that if it were "a wider part of the culture it would be tried more widely and without any forethought" doesn't really act as a legitimate argument. Yes, if marijuana were readily available with no criminal ramifications it probably would be tried more often (although if someone wants to 'try' marijuana now it's certainly easy enough to acquire) My point is: So what if more people try it? There's no negative side to trying marijuana once or more than once.I know many people who have smoked it once or twice and decided it wasn't for them -for a variety of reasons. I've tried whiskey and realized I didn't really like it so I don't drink that particular kind of liquor anymore. My choice. Their choice.
I'm certainly not painting the harms with a brush of a hand because the 'harms' are so miniscule as to be non existent. Adults should be able to decide for themselves -with no threat of criminal prosecution- whether they want to use this substance or not.
And I don't think a counter point of view is 'bringing everyone else down" -I just don't happen to think those counter points are valid.

 
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I'd much rather have smoking a joint than texting while driving

Believe it or not, I actually agree with that statement from KAlden. I'm sure neither of us advocate any type of intoxicant while driving.

Texting while driving is a dangerous impairment to the driver and dangerous to others.

However, smoking marijuana and driving does not automatically equate impairment!!

 
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You're correct, Vidda. I do

You're correct, Vidda. I do not advocate anyone using any kind of intoxicant while driving -in fact, I believe once you get behind the wheel of vehicle you should not be doing anything that would distract from or impair your driving ability. That includes smoking anything; drinking, texting, talking on your phone, taking 'selfies', letting your dog (or kid) ride in your lap,etc.
Just pay attention to your driving-your only goal should be to arrive safely without having injured yourself or anyone else.
However, I do still stand by my previous statement.

 
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News from CO

Imagine all that could be done for the state of VT and our people...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/colorado-marijuana-taxes_n_5291...?

 
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In the news

Friday May 9 Democracy Now has extended segments about families moving to Colorado to save their children's lives. Over 100 so far.

One mother interviewed came because her daughter was having 400 seizures a month - one every 15 minutes or so. She was dying, and doctors had tried all pharmaceuticals to no avail. They were considering removing half her brain.

Her mother moved her to Colorado, the girl began using a marijuana oil, and the seizures came to almost a complete stop.

Interesting talk, with doctors and parents in the discussion.

 
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Inspirational

And it's still federally illegal to perform medical research with Cannabis.
Unbelievable.

 
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That's GOOD

I'm glad the pharmaceuticals can't get on with research; if they could, the entire industry would most certainly belong to them already, and the issue of legalizing goes off the table.

 
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Link to the airing of the 5/9 Democracy Now show

 
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Treatment

I am far more interested in the medical benefits to marijuana than I am in knowing that people will be able to have a certain amount in their possession (although still face fines; true?).

I did watch a film where a child with seizures was given instantaneous relief from seizures (up to 40 a day). Although the child would still suffer one or two, they were much less in duration and severity. It was amazing and I can imagine the immeasurable relief for the parents, too.

I also don't know how much revenue we are hoping for in legalizing, then taxing. I found a report (state) that gives our year to date on alcohol (doesn't list tobacco as a line item) but that amount pales very quickly when compared to every other item listed, so, although it would be a plus in the coffer, I don't think it's going to be a windfall. If it is, it will only be for the short duration of time between Vermont legalizing and other states following suit.

I also think that the reality of using is based far more on the relief it brings to people for anxiety related disorders, and when it was approved for medical use, I really thought it unfair that the list of medically approved uses fell far short from that reality. I think more "medical" reasons qualify than have been acknowledged. At the same time, I am very thankful that the pharmaceuticals can't get their hands on the stuff and if for no other reason, the states and ultimately the feds need to act more quickly to keep it that way. Otherwise, the activism will have served to make the pharmaceuticals richer and the cause will be lost in the end.

I do believe with all my heart that over-indulgence with alcohol is more often than not also to bring physical and mental relief to people and those who find themselves addicted also find themselves uncovering underlying reasons when they begin to recover (if they ever begin). So I think the two substances can be compared within those limits. I am not talking about people who will have a drink with their meal but the people who have to "unwind" every day after work only to find that the effect of relaxing them no longer works as it once did.

If everyone who will be using marijuana already uses it, legal or not, the Colorado gold rush is a bit harder to understand. The medical use I get, but for the casual user that seems drastic.

 

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