Vermont Alliance for Intelligent Drug Laws
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Make your voice heard!

Lawmakers in Vermont may not take the lead on this issue, and often shy away from discussing drug policy reform; but, if they hear from enough people who care about this issue, their constituents, they will be more inclined to really listen.

It is up to us to encourage lawmakers and policymakers to see that the Drug War has failed failed to reduce drug use and accessibility and wasted federal, state and local dollars, and countless hours of law enforcement's time, on arresting and processing otherwise law-abiding citizens, when that money and effort could be spent on more dangerous, serious crimes.

Below are sample letters that you can send to your local lawmaker, and your local newspaper.

We have included a link to the Vermont Legislative Web page so you can find out who your lawmaker is, if you are unsure: http://www.leg.state.us/legdir/legdir2.htm

Please go to http://www.50states.com/news/vermont.htm, if you would like to submit a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. This link provides contact information for many major daily and weekly papers in Vermont.

Click here for a PDF of out Press List

We strive to keep our info current, and so if you find an error in our press contact list, please inform us. 

1) Sample Letter to Lawmaker

Dear Lawmaker:

I am writing to encourage you to support House Bill H. 150, a bill to decriminalize marijuana in the upcoming legislative session. I am concerned that Vermont is spending too much money and valuable resources criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens for using small amounts of marijuana responsibly. Given the state of the economy and the need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts, I support issuing a civil fine in place of criminal penalties. The revenues generated by the fine could be used for drug awareness programs, particularly for our youth.

If this common sense approach makes sense to you and you are interested in learning more about the bill, please contact the Vermont Alliance for Intelligent Drug Laws (VALID) via 802-279-2486 or [email protected]. You can also check out their website at http://www.validvt.org.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

(Name)

(Town)

2) Sample Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I am writing to encourage Vermonters to consider supporting House Bill H. 150 to decriminalize marijuana. I am concerned that Vermont is spending too much money and valuable resources criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens for using small amounts of marijuana responsibly. Given the state of the economy and the need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts, I support issuing a civil fine in place of criminal penalties. The revenues generated by the fine could be used for drug awareness programs, particularly for our youth.

If this common sense approach makes sense to you and you are interested in engaging in a dialogue about this important issue, please visit the Web site of the Vermont Alliance for Intelligent Drug Laws (VALID): http://www.validvt.org.

(Name)

(Town)  


House Bill H. 150 Talking Points

Basics:
This bill creates a civil penalty, instead of a criminal penalty, for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
It instructs police officers to write a citation for a $100 fine to any individual who is found possessing an ounce or less of marijuana. Marijuana remains illegal, and current laws on selling, trafficking, or growing marijuana, as well as the laws surrounding DUI remain unchanged.
If a juvenile under the age of 18 is caught possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, their parent or guardian is notified of the charge and is given the citation. The juvenile must complete a drug awareness program and perform community service to complete the terms of the citation.

Why you should support it:
This bill will save Vermonters millions of dollars each year. It makes no sense, in this time of economic hardship, to waste our hard earned taxes on arresting and booking non-violent people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
A criminal record can have lifelong, disproportionate consequences, including preventing people from getting a job, student loans, and housing.
Vermont voters overwhelmingly support this sensible change. A January 2009 Mason-Dixon poll found that 63% of Vermont voters support this change in the law, while only 27% oppose it. In addition, 65% Massachusetts voters supported a very similar proposal on Election Day last November.
Twelve other states have implemented similar marijuana decriminalization laws with no increase in marijuana use, according to the National Research Council. These 12 other states are California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon.  

 

 

 

Contact VALID: PO Box 709 Montpelier, Vermont 05601 | 802-279-2486 |  email: [email protected]