Not just about tax revenue
Editor of the Reformer:
As a cannabis legalization bill receives a public hearing in the Vermont House of Representatives, the Vermont Libertarian Party would like to highlight concerns shared by many that the absence of a home growing provision will limit the bill's chances to decrease the black market as much as allowing home growing will.
Legalization of cannabis is not all about the tax revenue. Legalization is also about reducing the black market for all drugs as much as possible, for a safer Vermont. Libertarians don't want to see adults getting arrested or fined for a medicinal and recreational substance which is actually far less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Nor do we want people to have to buy cannabis from dealers who might also sell opioids and other harder, drugs. We don't think this should wait until 2018.
Allowing home growing and personal transfer between adults within the possession limits allowed, is the best way to accomplish the need for Vermonters to not have to buy drugs trafficked into our state illegally. Legal home growing will allow Vermonters to develop their cannabis cultivation skills to support an artisan cannabis industry, so we are not bombarded solely by over-commercialized product when the retail market is finally opened.
Vermont Libertarian Party Vice Chair Bonnie Scott has a message for the Legislature: "Let's do cannabis legalization right. Let's do it 'The Vermont Way' that we were told would happen. That includes home growing."
The plant-based growing provisions in S.95 would be a decent compromise if the Legislature isn't comfortable with the 100 square feet of garden per household allowed by the original Benning/White bill."
The Vermont Libertarian Party congratulates the Vermont Senate in taking an important first step towards legalization of cannabis, a position that the majority of adult Vermonters support. We urge the House to pass a more comprehensive bill that includes home growing.
Jeremy Ryan, Chairman, Vermont Libertarian Party