Vermont Progressive Legislator Proposes Statewide Alcohol Ban

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.

Read the full article here. Thanks to The Thirds for the link.

6 thoughts on “Vermont Progressive Legislator Proposes Statewide Alcohol Ban

  1. NewFederalist

    “The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington…”

    At first glance I thought the Prohibition Party actually had a state legislator!

  2. Richard Winger

    Using “P” as an abbreviation for a party was especially a problem in the 1890-1916 era, when we had Peoples Party, sometimes known as Populist Party; Prohibition Party; Progressive Party. There are all sorts of errors in some collections of old election returns because people relied on one-letter abbreviations for parties. This is especially true of the Consortium at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor that collected old election returns in a careless manner.

  3. Gene Berkman

    Interesting from an historical perspective. Marijuana Prohibition in the form of the Marijuana Tax Act was passed by Congress in 1937, 4 years after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. The first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was Harry Anslinger, who had been a Prohibition agent previously. Some credit Anslinger and other veterans of the Prohibition bureau with pushing marijuana prohibition, so that they could keep their government jobs.

    More recently, it has been shown that Anheuser-Busch and other beer brewing companies have helped to fund the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, either trying to show that they support some forms of sobriety, or trying to keep out competition that would threaten their market. The alcohol companies, as well as the pharmaceutical companies that fund Partnership for a Drug-Free America are more serious about this than Rep. Chris Pearson (Prog) with his publicity stunt in favor of legalizing marijuana.

  4. paulie

    I hope no one starts to takes the “joke” seriously. I wouldn’t put it past the realm of possibility that a new alcohol prohibitionist movement could take off with help from people who are just trying to make the point that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  5. Mark Axinn

    Gene:

    You got to wonder about the beer companies.

    Who says “I want to smoke a joint or have a brew, but not both”?

    What narrow-mindedness!

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