Vermont Heroes Taking Your Booze Hostage For Legal Weed
Some Vermont legislators have a pretty compelling argument: If the state won't legalize marijuana, then how about we prohibit all recreational drugs?
State Reps. Jean O'Sullivan, a Democrat, and Christopher Pearson, a Progressive (really!), have filed a bill to prohibit alcohol consumption, with penalties that match those currently in place for marijuana possession and sale. The bill's language is quite serious about this:
A person 21 years of age or older who possesses a small amount of alcohol may be ticketed for a civil violation and subject to a monetary penalty of up to $500.00. Possession of larger quantities of alcohol, as well as cultivation, distribution, and sale of alcohol, will be subject to criminal penalties ranging from one day to 30 years’ imprisonment and fines ranging from $1.00 to $1,000,000.00.
We have to admit that we're not sure exactly how alcohol is "cultivated." Maybe they're going to crack down on growers of grains and fruit, the notorious precursor substances to the fermented poison liquor? And their bill is already far more permissive than many state and federal statutes on pot, since it makes a generous exception for "medicinal, chemical, or industrial" uses of alcohol.
O'Sullivan admits the bill is more of a publicity
blunt stunt than anything else, telling HuffPo 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."
The legislative trolling is meant to call attention to a number of studies showing that marijuana is less dangerous than other drugs, including legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. It really won't turn you into a drooling murderous zombie, at least, not unless you're taking your Reefer Madness cosplay way too seriously.
"We're certainly not going to ban alcohol, but when you say you'll let a drug like that be legalized and then you have a drug like marijuana that's far safer that's still banned, it's completely ironic," O'Sullivan said.
O'Sullivan and Pearson are also co-sponsoring a completely serious bill to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana sales. A Rand Corporation study cited by HuffPo estimate that tax revenue from legalizing recreational marijuana sales could range between $20 million and $70 million a year for Vermont. "When you're looking at a $113 million budget deficit," says O'Sullivan, "it looks really bloody attractive."
Oh, sure, it sounds like a good idea. But wouldn't legalizing pot in Vermont lead to unintended troubles, like an influx of stoned Latins? Those people are nothing but trouble.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.