Vermont Governor: “The War on drugs has failed us miserably”
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin appears to be in an all-out battle against the war on drugs—and especially the war on marijuana.
Peter Shumlin has long been an outspoken supporter of marijuana legalization. And in a brand new interview with Time, he doubled down on his position.
“The war on drugs has failed us miserably when it comes to marijuana policy, which is why so many states are by referendum legalizing marijuana,” he said.
Peter Shumlin’s open support of changing marijuana laws stands out in contrast to statements made recently by other key lawmakers and political leaders.
Earlier this year, President Obama announced that he would not make marijuana law reform a priority for his last year in office.
And just a couple weeks ago, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper told states they should “think twice” before legalizing marijuana.
But all that doesn’t seem to have slowed Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin down.
“I’m hoping that Vermont will be the first state that does it legislatively because we have learned from the states that have made mistakes doing it by referendum,” he said.
“We are trying to pass the first cautious, sensible marijuana legalizing bill in the country.”
What all that means is that marijuana could become legal in Vermont directly through the process of law-making. In every other state where recreational marijuana is allowed, the changes have been made through a much longer process of going to a popular vote.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin hopes that by making the changes directly at the top, he and other lawmakers can come up with a carefully crafted set of laws.
One of the key differences so far between Vermont’s bill and other states that have legalized marijuana is that Vermont doesn’t plan on legalizing edibles.
Also in the interview, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin talked about his vision for federal drug laws.
He said that marijuana should be reclassified. Cannabis is currently a Schedule I drug, along with drugs like heroin. Schedule I drugs are considered to be the most dangerous. They also usually carry the most severe criminal sentences.
Lawmakers in Vermont could vote on the state’s marijuana bill within the next few weeks.
If the bill passes, Vermont will become the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana. So far, it’s been legalized in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, as well as Washington, D.C.
(Photo Credit: Truthinmedia)