Prohibition in Vermont?

  • Print

alcohol banVERMONT - During the 1920's, Prohibition was the illegal or restricted manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. The idea was that it would lower taxes, reduce crime and corruption, and improve health and hygiene in America.

It didn't quite work out in the way many had hoped, as courts and prisons became overpopulated, alcohol became immensely dangerous to consume, organized crime grew, and the corruption of police and public officials was increasing. It wasn't until 1966 that all states had fully repealed their state-level prohibition laws.

Now, two Vermont Lawmakers have filed a bill that would ban alcohol sales in the Green Mountain State. The bill was proposed because both representatives wanted to make a point that alcohol causes more issues than marijuana.

"Prohibiting the sale and possession of alcohol is a laughable suggestion," said Progressive Representative Chris Pearson. "The commonsense reaction against this idea should be the same logic we use to consider the continued prohibition of marijuana."

Both agreed, calling the bill laughable, but with a purpose. The legalization of Marijuana has had bills filed in the House and Senate this year but will probably not be voted on in either chamber.

"We currently have a drug that is legal and is way more dangerous than pot," said Representative Jean O'Sullivan. "We're just trying to shine a bright light on this [the legalization of marijuana] and say 'get moving.' "

Pearson had statistics to back up his argument.

"Marijuana increases the odds of a fatal crash by 83 percent," he said. "Alcohol by 575 percent."

Pearson continued.

"A 2014 study associated lower incidence of violence in the first nine years of marriage among marijuana users compared to nonuser," he said. "By comparison, annually U.S. college students report over 450,000 incidents of alcohol related violence."

He added that he does use marijuana in a legal situation, "From time to time."

O'Sullivan noted that the black market see's over $200 million in sales per year and that bringing it "into the light" would bring an enormous economic impact on Vermont.

"Let the entrepreneurs really build a business around this," she said.

The younger generation is often exposed to dealers in the black market who are selling harder drugs, as well as marijuana.

"It's a danger to our kids that they're going to dealers," she said. "Dealers who deal everything."

Both Pearson and O'Sullivan support the taxing and regulation of marijuana if it were to be legalized in Vermont.