Both Progressive Rep. Chris Pearson and Democratic Rep. Jean O’Sullivan know there’s no chance their “no pot, no booze” bill will pass. It’s “laughable,” says Pearson. The whole thing is a media ploy to get voters and politicians alike to realize that marijuana prohibition is just as ridiculous.
“The commonsense reaction against this idea should be the same logic we use to consider the continued prohibition of marijuana,” Pearson says.
Pearson and O’Sullivan announced last week that their prohibition legislation has been filed with the state. The two State Representatives have been frustrated with lack of progress in local legalization, and can’t help but notice the same thing a lot of other people have: that having stricter laws for marijuana than alcohol is evidence of a slow-moving, anachronistic government.
The objective was “to point out that we currently have a drug that is legal and is way more dangerous than pot, and just trying to shine a bright light on this and say ‘get moving,’” said O’Sullivan.
Both the Vermont House and Senate have bills proposing marijuana legalization, but neither is expected to come to a vote anytime soon, creating the need to make the issue more present.
Pearson gave the Associated Press a laundry list of reasons why cannabis should be legalized. While marijuana has been foudn to increase the chances of a fatal crash by 83%, alcohol increases the risk by 575%, said Pearson.
“A 2014 study associated lower incidence of violence in the first nine years of marriage among marijuana users compared to nonusers,” the representative added. “By comparison, annually U.S. college students report over 450,000 incidents of alcohol-related violence.”
O’Sullivan estimated that weed was doing about $200 million in black market business. Pulling that into the legal realm would pump the state full of tax realm and be good for local business owners as well. “Let the entrepreneurs really build a business around this,” she said.
The AP asked both the representatives if they smoke. “From time to time in a legal environment, like when I visit my son in Seattle,” O’Sullivan said. What else is he going to say. Pearson echoed O’Sullivan’s vaguery. “From time to time,” he said.