All posts by Justin Henry

Action Alert: Tell Your Lawmakers It’s Time to Regulate Marijuana

Bills have been introduced in the Vermont Senate and House that would end marijuana prohibition in Vermont.  S. 95, S. 241, and H. 277 would all make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and allow the state to begin regulating marijuana production and sale.  They would also allow adults to cultivate their own limited supply of marijuana plants.

A strong majority of Vermonters supports ending prohibition, and Gov. Shumlin made a strong statement in favor of marijuana regulation during his state of the state address, but many elected officials remain undecided. They need to hear your voice in support of this sensible reform. Please contact your representatives and senators today and ask for their support!

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.”

Forum at UVM on November 20 (2014) Concerning Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Vermont

In Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and our nation’s capital, voters have passed initiatives to end marijuana prohibition.

A strong majority of Vermonters also support our state moving to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.

The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana and the UVM Young Americans for Liberty invite you to attend an educational forum at 7:30pm on Thursday, November 20, at the Sugar Maple + Summit Ballroom of the Dudley H. Davis Student Center at the University of Vermont.

Legislators and policy experts will discuss some of these relevant and timely questions:

Why have attitudes on marijuana policy changed so dramatically?

What questions remain before legislators can agree to legalize and regulate?

Should Vermont be the first New England state to end marijuana prohibition?

Featured panelists and speakers:

Senate Minority Leader Joseph Benning (R-Lyndonville)

Senator David Zuckerman (P-Hinesburg)

Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson (D-Essex)

Rep. Suzy Wizowaty (D-Burlington), Executive Director, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform

Paul Volk, Former President, Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Fran Janik, cannabis patient advocate

Laura Subin, Director, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana

Matt Simon, New England Political Director, Marijuana Policy Project

The event will be hosted by the UVM Young Americans for Liberty.

RSVP and invite your friends to attend on Facebook!

Vermont Seeks Public Input on Marijuana Issue Wednesday, November 12 (2014)

Vermont is studying the potential impacts of marijuana legalization and regulation, and now the state wants to hear from you!

This Wednesday, November 12 (2014), the state will hold a public hearing on the issue from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The hearing will be conducted by Vermont Interactive Technologies (VIT), allowing members of the public to testify remotely from sites in Bennington, Brattleboro, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Randolph Center, Springfield, St. Albans, and Williston.

Need directions? Click here and select the site closest to you (Note: only 9 of the 17 sites will be holding the hearing, check the cities listed above).

This is a great opportunity for those of us who feel strongly about ending marijuana prohibition in Vermont! If you are interested in speaking in favor of ending marijuana prohibition, please contact Laura Subin, director of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, so she can help coordinate testimony.

Also, before you testify, we strongly recommend that you take time to read MPP’s “Effective Arguments for Advocates of Taxing and Regulating Marijuana.” Additionally, here’s a useful document with data showing that the roll-out of marijuana regulation has been successful in Colorado and Washington.

Although the Legislature does not convene until January, a successful hearing on Wednesday could help set the stage for a major legislative victory in 2015. Please share this message with your friends and family in the state. Thanks for your interest in this critically important issue!