In every state where medical or recreational marijuana use has been legalized, it’s all come from the people, via ballot initiatives. No legislatures have been proactive. Because while many politicians are willing to admit America’s drug policy is broken, few have the balls to actually do something about it.
But Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin does.
In a new interview with Time magazine, Shumlin says states which have legalized recreational use “enlightened,” and is pushing for Vermont’s legislature to cut to the chase and legalize it already. This is the next logical step, he says, because the state has already decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of weed.
“We decriminalized an ounce or less, so you virtually get less of a criminal penalty for buying [small amounts of] pot than you do speeding on the highway. Although we wish you wouldn’t smoke pot, just like we wish you wouldn’t drink too much, we’re going to let you do it without getting in trouble with the law—but you still have to go buy it from a drug dealer?”
Of course, any action from the legislature is likely to be far from perfect. Shumlin specifically calls out edibles and smoking lounges as things he doesn’t want to see—at least initially—in the Green Mountain State. And the restrictions around all aspects of marijuana use will likely be tougher than they are in states where the laws have been changed as result of a grassroots movement.
Also, it would be nice to see politicians, including Shumlin, to stop calling the War on Drugs a “failure,” or at least called out for doing so. Because that’s a bullshit dodge, and a props up the right-wing narrative that Nixon’s sinister program was designed to protect citizens from dangerous substances, and not, as we now know, put black people and hippies in prison.
But it’s a bold step in the right direction. Read the entire interview at Time.
[ via Time ]