Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) has vetoed a piece of legislation that would have legalized recreational marijuana in Vermont, therefore continuing the failed policy of prohibition.
Governor Scott, though not opposed to legalization, said that the bill didn’t impose tough enough penalties on sales to minors, and said that legalization poses a “public safety” threat.
At the end of the day, Scott just wants to stall and see how other states deal with the sweeping legalization.
Wait And See, Or Stalling Me?
While diffusion isn’t uncommon for a policy change like this, what I think Governor Scott is doing is just stalling. Stalling because he knows that it would be near political suicide to come out against marijuana legalization, as 60 percent of all Americans support legalization.
In addition, contrary to the governor saying he isn’t opposed to legalization, I do believe he wants prohibition to continue, as he cited “public safety” reasons.
The “public safety” claim hearkens back to the original Nixonian drug war where marijuana was viewed as the something that could tear one’s life apart.
Former President Richard Nixon’s war on drugs was nothing more than a way to blame hippies and Blacks, among other minorities, for the problems of the era. Hippies and Blacks were targeted indiscriminately.
Marijuana Has Benefits
By not legalizing marijuana, Vermont is missing out on at least $179 million in revenue, plus other benefits, including a potentially booming tourism industry.
Check out this video about Colorado raking in the revenue due to legalized marijuana: