Letter
October 8, 2015

Marijuana legalization in the media

Dear Editor,

Virtually all media coverage depicts marijuana legalization as a done deal, just waiting for Shumlin’s signature in 2016. Vermont’s lawmakers and officials have stepped right in behind Shumlin and the paid marijuana lobby to make us believe this.

So far, it appears that those who defend legalization of social marijuana are those who take no particular responsibility for public health and safety. The arguments in favor are simplistic:  “personal freedom” and untold riches to be made. We may include the state of Vermont in this, as the state seems bent on becoming drug pusher to the whole East Coast.

Then there are the rest of us: parents, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement, health professionals, social workers, and any sensible adult, many of whom know marijuana at the ground level and oppose legalization. Because we are unorganized and have no lobby, we constitute a “silent majority.”

In Chittenden’s Town Meeting this year, a resolution instructing the legislature not to legalize recreational marijuana failed by a single vote. During the petition phase, conducted entirely in two weeks at the town transfer station, signers were literally grabbing the pen to sign, and bringing friends back to sign. Parents kept their curious children away from the petitioner and her clipboard, while they signed.

Now and again a stray letter to the editor appears, opposing legalization. It just remains for the rest of Vermont outside Chittenden County to make their opposition known, before Pandora’s box is opened up in 2016.

Julia Purdy, Chittenden, Vt.

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4 Comments

  • To the people in the Vermont Gov. you have a year to pass a legalization of marijuana bill before this goes to the voters. You are not going to like the issue that may go on the ballot in November of 2016 and if you wont it legalized by the voters you had better do in next year before November.

  • This article is very nearsighted. Why do people continue to support the underground marketing of marijuana in the US? Why do we continue to throw disproportionate numbers of racial minorities in prison for using a natural substance that is objectively and scientifically less harmful than alcohol? This lady tells one very big lie. Prohibitionist are NOT a majority. They are the minority in this issue and will lose this battle in the not too distant future. I am a physician and I support legalization. The claims made here that all successful citizens oppose marijuana are completely in accurate.

  • A recent poll conducted by Castleton Polling Institute found that 56% of Vermonters support legalization and regulation, while only 34% are opposed. The previous poll was 54% to 40%. Bottom line: this author is delusional if she thinks she and her shrinking cohort of prohibitionists actually constitute a majority, silent or otherwise.

    The truth is that Prohibition has been anything but beneficial for public health and safety. Prohibition has not stopped marijuana from being widely available and widely used throughout Vermont, but it has ensured that all the profits go to illicit sources. As a result, gangs and cartels continue to flourish. Illicit drug dealers don’t test or label their products, they don’t check ID’s, and they might introduce people to substances that are far more dangerous than marijuana.

    Perhaps this will help explain why most Vermonters are no longer willing to share in this letter-writer’s delusion about the efficacy of Prohibition.

  • “before Pandora’s box is opened up in 2016.”

    I’d love to try some Vermont grown Pandora’s Box, that’s a rare strain!

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