Without responding to every single prohibitionist article that's published in a VT media outlet, whenever "Smart"Approaches to Marijuana-VT gets press, it's worth highlighting the flaws in their (main) argument. To be clear, I believe these people--many of whom are truly doing the lord's work in substance abuse treatment--probably have good intentions, but they're acting out of fear and using misleading information to propagate that fear to the masses.
So, here's a link to the commentary piece, which was run (so far) by VTDigger and the Mountain Times.
As you can see, there's no new information, but rather, an attempt to re-package previous information into some easy press (thanks VT gatekeepers) via pulling out some non-contextual quotes . The commentary piece mostly cites the information presented on October 29, at the VT Public Health Association presentation at the UVM Medical Center. For more thorough reporting of that event, check out the Vermontijuana coverage from October 31.
Fortunately for advocates of sensible cannabis reform, the comments from the VTDigger article show plenty of Vermonters who can see through the prohibitionist smokescreen. Our cheers and thanks to those informed and engaged Vermonters for speaking up! Here are a few of the best responses from the comment section:
December 1, 2015 at 12:40 am
“If the health impacts reported by the task group are ignored, and the recommendations include turning marijuana into a consumer item in Vermont, we can be sure that all of the negative health impacts will be made worse.”
Why is tobacco, which kills nearly 500,000 Americans every year (http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/), and cost us millions in smoking related diseases is legal and marijuana (which is also medicinal) is illegal? As for it supposedly starting addictions of other stuff, well, cigarettes do the same too, if not more so.
December 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm
You could also add alcohol consumption and over consumption (drunk) which causes numerous health issues, accidents, and occasionally death. If alcohol was held to the same standard as marijuana it would be illegal, but then we would be back to the days of prohibition which caused more problems then it cured.
The political “double standard” concerning this issue is apparently alive and well.
December 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm
Ms. Haskins calls for us to be patient and wait for more data to come from further research, yet scientific research into the risks and benefits of marijuana is made nearly impossible by marijuana being a “Schedule I” drug under the Controlled Substance Act, a category reserved for “most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence”.
Schedule I classification means scientists cannot readily obtain marijuana for research, and their ability to conduct controlled human studies is severely curtailed.
Does Ms. Haskins support the growing calls for re-scheduling marijuana as a Schedule II or III drug so that more scientific research can actually be done, or is her plea to “wait for more data” just a smokescreen for a morality-based opposition to marijuana?
December 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm
I find myself in the “end prohibition” side of this discussion. Life is full of choices. People make them AND should be held accountable for the results of their decisions – which for some reason is very unpopular during this period of our country … and state.
Second point: We are already “paying” for many of the negative side effects of marijuana. If it becomes legal, are all non-users going to start lighting up? Doubtful.
As for homelessness, should the state adopt sterner policies, versus our current “…come to Vermont and our tax payers will provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, valet service, etc…”
Third point: I have to wonder, are the folks against legalization benefitting by having it illegal? Do they earn unreported income on the side–which has to be a huge cottage industry, currently. Is their paycheck tied to alternative legal substances? (alcohol, prescription drugs, etc.)
Last point: Can we suspend all of the “special interest” discussions and focus on the toughest discussion in front of us: the budget and how to grow the economy (real private sector job creation – not the steal from Mary to pay Patty government jobs) to meet existing obligations and/or trim them?