Speaking rhetorically about legalizing marijuana, I hear the repeating theme that VT needs to do it right, especially every time CO and WA is brought up.
But I have wondered of late, how it is that we can do it wrong?
The unbiased reports from CO especially, and WA all report the upshot results of marijuana legalization are very favorable by every indicator. Yet, except for the deranged Patrick 'Druggy' Kennedy's so-called Smart group it's not clear exactly what can go wrong.
Why do I sense that something is amiss in our legislature? Bob Fagelson is right, we should have led this thing, not scramble to claim some elusive, imaginary high-ground. The VT legislature, not the people's nonexistent referendum, is standing at the bottom of the hill, staring up as the sun comes up over CO and WA...and now Alaska.
I don't think for a minute we are doing the other state legislatures any favors by pretending we have the answers, or is seeking some holy grail of good marijuana lawmaking...And, is the limp, lukewarm bill that will inevitably distill down from both sides of the aisle, really worth the wait or the timid caution?
Regrettably, it turns Gov. Shumlin's proclamation "I will sign the bill" into meaningless mush.
What exactly is it about marijuana legalization the legislature is afraid of?
Full text of Dr. Fagelson’s letter: Letter Box
What you been smoking?
Editor of the Reformer:
POSTED: 02/25/2015 09:16:36 PM EST
What in the heck is wrong with our Legislature and legislators in Vermont? I read that the folks up there said there will not be legalization of marijuana this session. Are you kidding me? We live in what is arguably the most progressive state in the Union. One of our senators is a socialist for heaven's sake. We should have led the nation in this effort. Yet, our legislators want to tread lightly. Why?
The state is in debt. They want to raise our taxes, even though we are one of the highest taxed states. Our cost per student in school is one of the highest, if not the highest in the country. We stand to make millions on legalized pot. Not only that, but we would be an island of legalized weed in the region, with the additional millions of monies that will be brought in by out-of-staters. And make no mistake about it: New Hampshire, Maine, and New York may very well decide to legalize it and there will go those dollars.
Pot has been legal for over a year in Colorado, and what are the results? Crime has gone down; DWIs have gone down; and teen-age pot smoking has even gone down. And they are raking in tens of millions of dollars. So what is our Legislature waiting for?
Bob Fagelson, Brattleboro, Feb. 19