Now that possession and cultivation is legal for adults 21 and older, it’s time for the legislature to move forward with plans to regulate and tax cannabis sales.
The Senate passed S. 54, a bill that would do exactly that, in a 23-5 vote on February 28, 2019. In 2020, the House followed suit, passing the bill in a 90-54 vote on February 26. Click here for a summary of the bill.
Next, the bill will be sent to a conference committee, where legislators will resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of S. 54 before sending a final version to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.
Talking Points – Ending Prohibition and Regulating Cannabis for Adult Use
— Prohibition has failed. The Rand Corporation’s report for Vermont found that around 80,000 Vermonters use cannabis on a monthly basis, and that they spend approximately $175 million each year buying cannabis 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]
— Cannabis prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient, and problematic as alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s and 1930s. Most Vermonters and most Americans agree it is time to replace this failed policy with a more sensible approach. [A February 2020 poll found that 76% of Vermonters support regulating and taxing cannabis sales, with only 19% opposed.]
— By regulating cannabis similarly to 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.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you might be willing to help replace our state’s destructive and wasteful cannabis 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 cannabis out of the illicit market and regulating it. Why not raise the issue with any group you belong to? Email us at email@example.com to let us know if you would like our help working on an endorsement.