Legislators and activists in Vermont have been trying to legalize marijuana in their state for some time now. Two state lawmakers have had enough and want to get thsis done as soon as possible. In fact, they are so serious about legalizing cannabis there, that they have sent a swift message to voters: Legalize weed or we ban alcohol.
According to The Huffington Post’s Nick Visser, a new bill was filed earlier this month by state Reps. Jean O’Sullivan and Christopher Pearson, which would “effectively reinstate alcohol prohibition in Vermont. If passed, House Bill 502 would outlaw consumption of alcohol, with penalties mirroring those currently in place for marijuana possession. Those found with small amounts of alcohol would be subject to fines of up to $500, and anyone involved in the sale and distribution stream could face up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in penalties.”
O’Sullivan told HuffPost that the truth is she doesn’t support the bill. Instead, she explained that “the object was to basically embarrass leadership to say that we have [marijuana legalization bills] in front of us, and they’re going absolutely nowhere.” Lawmakers also hope this message will help raise awareness in the state that science is starting overwhelmingly show that “marijuana is the least dangerous recreational drug on the market. A study published in February found that pot had the lowest risk of mortality when compared with nine other commonly used drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.”
Another bill, H.277, also sponsored by Pearson and O’Sullivan, proposes the legal sale and regulation of marijuana in Vermont. Senate Bill 95 would also legalize the drug and was introduced earlier this year.
The article also pointed to a Rand Corporation study released this year that estimates Vermonters spent between $125 to $225 million a year on marijuana in 2014. The same report also found that if pot was legal there, annual tax revenue could total between $20 million and $70 million.
Read more of this article at The Huffington Post