From Erin Mansfield at the Bennington Banner:
Frustrated by stalled efforts to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol, two Vermont lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would instead ban alcohol and treat it like marijuana.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington, called it a symbolic step to “recognize recent scientific studies that demonstrate that alcohol use is significantly more dangerous than marijuana.”
Under the proposed law, possession of large quantities of alcohol, plus cultivation, distribution or sale of alcohol, would carry criminal penalties with up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Possession of small amounts of alcohol would carry a civil penalty and $500 fine, provided the person with the alcohol is at least 21 years old. Alcohol used as medicine would remain legal.
“This is not something either of us support,” Pearson said in a news conference with co-sponsor Rep. Jean O’Sullivan, D- Burlington. “We offer these ideas to stimulate a much-needed discussion to treat marijuana like alcohol.
“Whereas prohibiting the sale and possession of alcohol is a laughable suggestion, the common-sense reaction against the idea should be the same logic we use to consider the continued prohibition of marijuana,” he said.