State Headliners: As another VT GOP candidate backs commercial pot, warnings come from Colorado

By Guy Page

Do policymakers in Vermont and other states really want to know what happens when marijuana is sold legally and commercially? The U.S. Attorney for Colorado wants them to know.

The day after another prominent Vermont Republican candidate announced support for ‘tax and regulate’ commercial sale of marijuana, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado – where commercial pot has been legal since 2013 – wrote a Denver Post editorial warning elected officials everywhere the unexpected, real-world problems they’ll face if they commercialize marijuana.

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Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, and Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont.

Rep. Corey Parent (St. Albans City), a candidate for State Senate, publicly joined Lieutenant Governor candidate Rep. Don Turner and Attorney General candidate Rep. Janssen Wilhoit (St. Johnsbury) as reluctant-but-confirmed backers of ‘tax and regulate.’ Like Turner and Wilhoit, Parent thinks ‘tax and regulate’ is the least-bad form of marijuana legalization, he said in a September 27 email to Headliners:

“I was one of the Republicans like Don Turner, who disagreed with the legalization of marijuana and still do,” Parent said. “But if it’s here to stay – I think the way in which we did it is awful. It doesn’t eliminate the black market, It doesn’t stop dealers from lacing it with other drugs. I think it should be regulated and taxed if it is to remain legal.

U.S. Attorney for Colorado Robert Troyer says tax and regulate hasn’t solved either the black market or the quality control problem – or virtually any other problem of ‘recreational’ pot legalization. He tells other states, beware: virtually every supposed benefit of ‘tax and regulate’ has been proven wrong in Colorado. Furthermore, U.S. Attorney Troyer plans to go after ‘legal’ marijuana stores that have been selling illegally-grown marijuana.

The Troyer op-ed is linked here in the hopes that Vermont policymakers will read it and step back from tax and regulate. If the Vermont Legislature commercializes pot sales and the expected problems occur, its members cannot honestly say they weren’t warned.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Page Communications

5 thoughts on “State Headliners: As another VT GOP candidate backs commercial pot, warnings come from Colorado

  1. Let’s wait for the facts to come from the states that have legalized it already. There is no reason at all to rush ahead and find out after the fact that it is the wrong choice. What we have now will work in the interim.
    Unfortunately there is always a rush to pass laws without looking at all the facts and possible negative consequences. I hope they can get this one right.

  2. This is bunk, the linked to op-Ed says that the youth in Colorado use cannabis 85% more than the national average and whether or not that is true the amount of you that are using cannabis has gone down and is actually a percentage lower than the national average. What can we deduce from this information? Those that would’ve used cannabis to begin with, if the linked to op-Ed isn’t completely fabricated and doesn’t only convey a person’s opinion, now use more cannabis but those that didn’t haven’t started using.

    Not only have Colorado traffic fatalities risen Sonce they legalized cannabis but so have the US traffic fatalities, 15%, whose to say that it isn’t all the smart technology that takes responsibility away from the driver?

    There is no conclusive evidence to prove whether cannabis is or is not safe for pregnant women to consume. That being said the 200 and something licensed shops should not be advocating for it. There needs to be double blind peer reviewed tests so we can understand the full effects of the plant on the human body whether as a fetus, a full grown human or anyone in between… and the way that happens is through legalization.

    When the author of the op-ed, a US attorney if I’m not mistaken, speaks about power and water usage and how high it is, fails to mention that the cost of energy and the electric consumption are actually lower than the national average, Colorado is already a water stressed state so any increase in water use will result in a shortage… on average it takes 105-155 gallons of water (not including how much it take to grow the barley and hops) for 31 gallon of of beer.

    When the op-ed refers to pesticides and mold it’s actually disingenuous, at least there are now recalls, before Colorado legalized cannabis no one was able to say that they got a bad crop from their dealer. The market is correcting itself, the more consumers speak with their wallets and reviews and if we allow for third party testing labs to to start up and process drugs, supplements, food, etc we will have a more pure product and “force” companies to change how they run.

    The black market is only viable because the rest of the states aren’t on board with legalization. It simple economics, when one area either doesn’t have the resources or have bureaucracy in the way another area will supply the first area with demanded goods or services. When one State is legal it is cheaper to grow in that state and export it to a state who’s government makes production of the product more expensive or riskier. There was Panama and Acapulco, then Mexico and Canada, now we have California, Colorado and Washington… what have we seen at the price margin? It’s gone down, when the profit decreases enough or when the federal government releases its draconian laws you will stop seeing as much of a black market. The term black market seem skewed anyways. It’s as though as soon as a legal grower or company knowingly sells to someone who will travel outside the state it’s now part of the black market.

    On top of all these point that I’ve refuted, the Christian should love thy neighbor regardless of the substances they consume or their act. Only if someone transgresses on someone else should they be punished until then they have done nothing deserving of stones.

  3. It is not our most pressing issue, please. Affordability, School Funding and Drugs are our problems.

    If you want some free tax money on things that don’t matter and aren’t needed by the public, how about taxing porn?

    These arguments and justifications are extremely weak. They can’t keep drugs out of schools and prisons, perhaps until they can demonstrate a bit of responsibility.

    Surely the money and profiteering schemes will prove too addictive, ironic huh?

    Anyone want to be what the first bills are to be rushed through next session? My bet is this one. Or another stupid gun law. Yup….working for the Vermont public. Drugs are not the answer, you can vote no. Ask the folks in DCF, does drug use have any impact on families? Yeah, get back to us on that one please.

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