Pot dealer argues for legalization in Vermont
MONTPELIER, Vt. –
A marijuana legalization bill faces a key vote this week in the Legislature.
The bill with momentum would legalize possession but not sale. A grower and dealer we spoke with says he wants to sell out in the open even if doing so cuts into his profit.
“Without legalization, I’m in danger of going to jail,” said a pot farmer.
A new voice emerged from the shadows of Vermont’s marijuana black market.
He is a pot farmer and small-time dealer in his 30’s with strong roots in the Green Mountain State.
“It’s just something that helps pay some of the living costs, the extra that it seems to take to live here,” he said.
Last year, the expert grower netted 10 pounds of pot from six plants. That’s worth about $30,000 based on the rates he charges.
He keeps his operation small to stay off the radar only selling to about a dozen close, adult friends.
Based on current law, he would face a $10,000 fine and five years behind bars if caught.
“I would like to be protected by the police, not sought after by them,” he said.
Debate over the legal status of pot budded under Montpelier’s Golden Dome during each of the last four years. In that time, lawmakers changed personal possession penalties from criminal to civil like a speeding ticket.
Medical laws are looser now but a legalization effort burned out in the House after passing the Senate last year.
“As governor I’ve been trying to lead a more sane drug policy,” said Governor Peter Shumlin in December.
“I’m not opposed to it in the future, I’m not saying never, I’m just saying not now,” said Governor Phil Scott in October.