Industrializing recreational marijuana is bad for Vermont. The initiative as written includes extreme measures that would cause widespread negative impacts across the state and within our communities. Below are just a few reasons why Vermonters should vote to oppose legalization.
With the legalization of marijuana comes mass marketing, advertising, and storefront properties. Such a vastly different, commercial landscape will significantly change the social norms and perceptions of our communities.
Much like the tobacco industry, the legalization of recreational marijuana will bring to Vermont extensive industrialization from Outside, corporate entities. Big Marijuana won’t be about homegrown local businesses. Rather, it will be led by Outside companies seeking to make a profit off Vermonters. This initiative is being funded by big-dollar interests who see Vermont as a domino in their quest to legalize marijuana nationwide.
More government oversight and costs.
This initiative will increase costs to state government in regulation and other increases in state government costs. This only a fraction of the costs that marijuana commercialization will impose on Vermont families, businesses, health, schools, productivity and more.
There is growing evidence that marijuana use is harmful. Since legalization in Colorado, there have been dozens of reports of the negative impacts of marijuana and marijuana concentrates on the health of children and adults. Public health science is clear—if the initiative passes, rates of youth marijuana use will increase. In addition, recent studies link marijuana use to abnormalities in the brain.
The proponents of marijuana legalization would like to make the issue about whether marijuana is worse than alcohol. This is not the point. Alcohol is and will be legal. For a state that already struggles with substance abuse, why add another legal drug to the mix?
This initiative will not eliminate the black market for marijuana, as proponents suggest. The black market is still thriving in Colorado despite legalization. In fact, law enforcement and drug dealers in Colorado say legalization has actually enhanced the black market because street vendors, who aren’t taxed, can sell the drug cheaper.
About 1 of every 11 of the people who try marijuana will become addicted to it at some point in their lives.
Marijuana was involved in 36% of all U.S. emergency department visits involving illegal drugs.
In 2011, more than 1,400 Vermonters were treated for marijuana use disorders, at a cost of $2.1 million