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The following is a letter that was shared with Heady Vermont after being sent by a Northeast Kingdom resident to her local representatives. Find your representative online here.

Dear Representative, 

I am 61, a professional marketing consultant and an advertising representative for a Vermont tech company.  I am writing to ask you to please pass the upcoming bill to legalize pot (H170).  I have smoked pot off and on for 42 years or so.  Most of my friends have too. None of them are criminals. All of them have good jobs and are fantastic parents…all our kids are thriving adults now.  None of the pot smokers I know found this to be a gateway drug to other things.  

We Boomers came of age in a time where smoking pot in college was considered normal.  As I grew up, it became more of a nice social event at dinner parties, concerts, outings, and dances.

Today, as an AARP eligible soul, I like pot in the evening or for special occasions and dinner parties with like minded friends.  Today, pot is an expensive product so everyone I know who indulges is of financial means.  In my circles, the pot smokers are professionals, old people, and otherwise pretty boring members of society.  I can say without hesitation that every single pot smoking Baby Boomer I know would prefer to buy legal pot, pay taxes on it, and move on.  Until the state is ready to create this system, we at least need to start with legalization.

 
We white, relatively affluent, Baby Boomers know we’re likely not to get busted, but it hurts our souls to think that a generation of folks of color, or those without the means to good legal help, have been criminalized, and continue to be criminalized for the same thing we do.  Kids who got into drug trouble in my high school, had parents who sent them off to private boarding schools to get back on track.  Poor kids get sent to jail and into a system with very little hope. Same pot.

I share this with you because if this was not your generation or inclination during the wild and wooly 60’s and 70’s,  you might not know how many of your constituents are like me. We have stayed in the shadows around pot for most of our lives.  We understood  pot’s illegal status and have not “come out” for fear of prosecution.  Now, as Vt. stands on the precipice, it is time come out of the closet and move this state forward in a meaningful way. I support full regulation taxation and retail access, but this first simple bill is a good first step to start working out the issues that remain.

Thank you for your attention, and I hope to meet you and discuss this in person in the near future.

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