Broad Statewide Coalition Forms to Support Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol in Vermont (2015)

Local advocates and organization leaders will hold a news conference in the Vermont State House at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, January 6 — the day before the general assembly convenes — to officially launch the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana

With the Vermont General Assembly set to convene this week, a group of citizens, organizations, and businesses from around the state is officially launching a coalition to support legislation that would end marijuana prohibition in Vermont and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

State lawmakers are expected to consider such a proposal this year. They are scheduled to receive a report next week from researchers at the Rand Corporation, who were commissioned to investigate the potential effects of making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it in Vermont.

A group of local advocates, organization leaders, and business owners will launch the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana at a news conference at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday — one day before the start of this year’s legislative session — at the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House.  Among the coalition members attending the news conference will be Suzi Wizowaty, executive director of Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform; Allen Gilbert, executive director of the ACLU of Vermont; Matt Simon, New England Political Director of the Marijuana Policy Project; Joseph McSherry, M.D.,Ph.D., a Burlington-based clinical neurophysiologist; and Fran Janik, a Jamaica (Vt.)-based photographer and medical marijuana patient.  A full list of current coalition members is available at

A strong majority (57%) of Vermonters support making marijuana legal for adults, taxing it, and regulating it similarly to alcohol, according to a Castleton Polling Institute survey released in May. The results are available at

“Vermonters are ready to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a more sensible system,” Matt Simon said. “Regulating marijuana will take sales out of the underground market and allow for it to be controlled like other products that are legal for adults. Along with improving public safety, it will generate significant new tax revenue and create good jobs for our communities.”