Publisher’s Note: This VTDigger headline says it all. After FOUR months of sustained conversation in Montpelier this legislative session, “1 ounce of cannabis possession” seems the best our elected HOUSE representatives could sanction, despite sustained, vocal, majority support for cannabis legalization and regulation from citizens from across the Green Mountains. Meanwhile, states across the US Empire and the entire country of Canada continue efforts to move forward with cannabis legalization and regulation. 2VR has been championing Vermont cannabis legalization and regulation since 2015, in conversation with a wide variety of Vermont stake holding groups. Catch up with our TOP TEN list below.
Here are our TOP TEN reasons why cannabis regulation is a MUST for Vermont. Feel free to share widely.
- Cannabis Prohibition has Been A Failure: The “War On Drugs” has done nothing to stop the widespread use of cannabis among adults and kids. It’s time for a saner approach in Vermont – legalize, regulate, and control the production of cannabis.
- Cannabis Regulation Means Economic Growth: Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year buying illegal marijuana from the black market, Vermonters will spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year buying cannabis from state-regulated and taxed cannabis businesses.
- Cannabis Regulation Means a Safer Vermont For Our Kids: In poll after poll, young Vermonters tell us that cannabis is easier to access than alcohol or tobacco (both legal and regulated drugs). Regulating cannabis will not only make it harder to obtain for Vermont youth, it means that products will be tested for potency, chemicals, and contaminants.
- Cannabis Regulation Means a Healthier Vermont: Cannabis legalization will provide more natural, organic and plant-based options for Vermonters suffering from chronic pain, glaucoma, stress, PTSD, and other medical conditions treatable with cannabis.
- Cannabis Regulation Means a More Honest Vermont: Cannabis legalization means we can dispense with the hypocritical “wink wink, nudge nudge’iness” surrounding illegal marijuana use, from doctors’ offices to school health classrooms to weekend parties, and instead have frank, honest and open public conversations about cannabis use and abuse.
- Cannabis Regulation Means New Vermont Jobs: As many as 4,000 new Vermont jobs, according to the RAND Report commissioned by the Vermont State government.
- Cannabis Regulation Means New Vermont Agricultural Opportunities: Cannabis (and Hemp!) cultivation will ensure a more diverse working landscape and more crop options for hard-working Vermont farmers.
- Cannabis Regulation May Mean Decreased Opiate Use Among Vermonters: A 2014 Journal of the American Medial Association Internal Medicine Study found that states with more expansive medical marijuana laws experienced 25% fewer fatal opioid overdoses than states without such laws. Evidence indicates that cannabis, rather than serving as a “gateway” drug, may assist opiate addicts in overcoming their opiate addiction.
- Cannabis Regulation Means More Net Vermont Tax Revenue: Tax money that will be used to fund drug prevention, education, and treatment programs for Vermonters, with a focus on opiate addiction, plus cover all administrative costs.
- Cannabis Regulation is Supported by a Majority of Vermonters: Polls reveals that a majority of Vermonters across the state support cannabis legalization and regulation. It is time to thoughtfully legislate cannabis regulation on behalf of the citizens of Vermont. Now is the time.
For further reading, please consult the following reports:
1. RAND Report on Vermont Marijuana Legalization. by the RAND research group.
2. “What Cannabis Can Do For Vermont.” by the Vermont Cannabis Collaborative (VTCC).