Letter: Exploiting a drug long disparaged

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Editor of the Reformer:

The Reformer carried a May 12 Weekend Edition article titled, A time to grow: Inn owners pitch pot festival. Apparently the owners of Layla's Riverside Lodge are presenting a proposal to the West Dover Select Board to hold a summer pot festival. The proposed date, July 1, is when marijuana becomes "legal" in Vermont. Since visitors are already using marijuana, Jim Desrochers, an owner of the Lodge at Mount Snow, is quoted as saying, "Every hotel up here has a cannabis problem and no one knows what to do with it. You're mixing families with dope heads."

Merriam-Webster defines a dope head as, "a drug addict; someone who uses a lot of illegal drugs, especially marijuana or cocaine." There may, indeed, be a lot of drug addicts blowing smoke around mixing with families, but it won't be the marijuana smoke, which is long known to be non-addictive. It's that other "legal exhalant" that is the addictive (and deadly) smoke mixing with families.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, a long time advocate of marijuana and hemp, and one of Vermont's best legislators, is reported as deciding whether to go to the festival. Should he decide to go I wonder if he'd gladly accept the title of chief dope head in Vermont. Personally, I'd find it offensive to refer to the Lt. Governor or any Vermonter as a dope head.

It's interesting to see how quickly some folks look to exploit a drug they have otherwise long disparaged or ignored the harm of its illegality, to now hit "one of those home runs" in their newfound good old American pastime of profit-making.

I wish the festival and community much success, but not in the archaic and inharmonious way of thinking about the much maligned "green" marijuana plant.

Vidda Crochetta

Brattleboro, May 13

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