Vermont Alert: Legalize Recreational Cannabis, Support S.95

Vermont S.95 would legalize recreational marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, and similar to the states of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska. The bill has been assigned to the Committee on Judiciary where it must pass first before the full Senate can consider it.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Senate Bill 76 became law without Gov. James Douglas’ signature on May 26, 2004. The law takes effect on July 1, 2004. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition.”

Senate Bill 17, which was signed into law on June 2, 2011, allows up to four state-licensed facilities to dispense marijuana to medically authorized patients. Each dispensary will be licensed by the state Department of Public Safety and will be permitted to serve up to 1,000 registered patients. The Department is in the process of developing rules to carry out the new law. The Department is anticipated to begin issuing licenses within six or seven months and must begin doing so within one year.

In 2010, police in Vermont made 737 arrests for marijuana possession. Although Vermont has made steps in the right direction, cannabis prohibition is still destroying lives in the Green Mountain State. We can stop this tragic misallocation of resources by passing S.95. Take action to support this bill.

ACTION ITEMS

1. Contact the committee chair. Politely urge him to move the bill forward in their committee and to vote YES to send it to the Senate floor.

Dick Sears rsears@leg.state.vt.us

2. Call all the other committee members. Strongly, but respectfully, urge each of them to vote YES on S.95.

Joe Benning jbenning@leg.state.vt.us (802) 626-3600
Timm Ashe tashe@leg.state.vt.us (802) 318-0903
Jeanette White jwhite@leg.state.vt.us (802) 387-4379
Alice Nitka anitka@leg.state.vt.us (802) 228-8432

3. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days. Make sure to follow-up. If they say YES, be sure to thank them and, if possible, announce their committed YES vote to email and social media contacts. If they say no, politely ask them why. Get the information from them and contact us.

4. SPREAD THE WORD.    Share this information widely by facebook, twitter, email and other social networks.

5. PITCH IN AND HELP US GROW.    Help our efforts to end the War on Drugs and to bring peace on our streets: http://peaceonourstreets.com/donate