Today marks an important milestone in elevating the debate around legalizing/regulating marijuana as Vermont Edition addressed the question of legalization. As a savvy and nuanced consumer of media, I was impressed as always with the work of VPR and the moderators, Jane Lindholm and her producer, Sam Gale Rosen. Extra props to Sam (who I've never met) for being a veteran of On Point, best radio news show and best host in the country, IMHO.
The experts who joined VPR were excellent and represented diverse and important perspectives: Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project; Margo Austin, a Burlington High School Counselor opposed to legalization (her group is called Smart Approaches to Marijuana, SAM-VT); Vermont State Senator Jeanette White, who is on Gov't Ops committee and who helped orchestrate dozens of hours of important testimony last session; and the more quiet (on the subject), but incredibly influential Health Commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen.
However, the calls and the comment section are where we can get to even more grassroots opinions of Vermonters. I'd therefore encourage everyone to visit their site and to see how the conversation is shaping out online. The program will air at least one more time, at which I'll comb through the comment section and highlight a few of the common topics. When they post it, I'll also embed the full audio directly into this post. In the meantime, visit the link on the VPR site here:
BONUS: I spoke with one of the participants, Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)--who is moving to VT in the winter to lobby full-time--at a Vermont Cannabis Collaborative event held in August, in St. Johnsbury.