Call and Email Your Representatives
The House has sent H. 170 to a second committee instead of calling for a floor vote. Since the House has not yet acted on H. 170, the Senate decided to press the issue. On April 21, the Senate voted 21-9 to amend a House-passed bill (H. 167) to include language of a comprehensive legalization and regulation bill (here is a summary).
If you know who your representatives are (you can look them up here), you can also call the State House at 802-828-2228 and leave a brief message for them. If you do so, the representative will receive a handwritten note that includes your message in support of H. 170. If you’d like the representative to return your call, be sure to include your phone number.
All Vermont newspapers publish letters, and this provides a great opportunity for coalition members to help educate the public. Here are links for submitting letters to some of Vermont’s major publications:
Burlington Free Press (250 words max)
Barre Montpelier Times-Argus (300 words max)
Brattleboro Reformer (500 words max)
Rutland Herald (250 words max)
Seven Days (250 words max)
Here are some tips to help you craft an effective letter:
– Letters are far more likely to be published if they respond directly either to breaking news or an article or commentary that was recently published. Sign up for our mailing list, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to stay updated on marijuana policy news in Vermont!
– Focus on one important point. Don’t try to address separate issues in one letter.
– Be polite and concise. Never insult our opponents. Check the publication’s submission guidelines before submitting your letter.
– Create immediacy by indicating how readers will be affected by the issue you address when possible. Ask readers to take action whenever possible.
Talking Points – Ending Prohibition and Regulating Marijuana for Adult Use
– Marijuana prohibition has failed. The Rand Corporation’s report for Vermont found that around 80,000 Vermonters use marijuana on a monthly basis, and that they spend approximately $175 million each year buying marijuana from the illicit market. This is money that could instead be going to regulated Vermont businesses that will not sell to underage consumers or introduce their customers to dangerous drugs such as heroin. [Source: Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions, Rand Corporation, 2015]
– Fifty-five percent of Vermonters support making marijuana legal for adults, while only 32% are opposed. [Source: Castleton Polling Institute, February 2016)
– Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient, and problematic as alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s and 1930s. Most Americans agree it is time to replace this failed policy with a more sensible approach. [Gallup poll in October 2015 found 58% support for making marijuana legal for adults.]
– Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol. It is less toxic, less addictive, and less harmful to the body, and it does not contribute to violent and reckless behavior. Adults should not be punished for choosing to use the safer substance.
– By regulating marijuana like alcohol, we can take sales out of the hands of illicit drug dealers and put them behind the counters of state-licensed businesses that are creating legitimate jobs and paying taxes.
Fill out our get involved form to let us know how else you might be willing to help replace our state’s destructive and wasteful marijuana policies with sensible regulation.
Ask Your Organization to Endorse
Community organizations, businesses, unions, civil rights groups, and faith-based groups all have an interest in taking marijuana out of the illicit market and regulating it. Why not raise the issue with any group you belong to? Email us at [email protected] to let us know if you would like our help working on an endorsement.