January 11, 2016

Former Vermont Attorney General To Throw Support Behind Marijuana Legalization Push

January 11, 2016
Vermont Could be the First State to Legalize Marijuana Through the State Legislature

vermont marijuana decriminalizationFormer Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney, a Republican, will throw his support behind the effort to end marijuana prohibition in 2016 and appear in online ads set to launch Tuesday that highlight the benefits of regulating marijuana.

The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana (VCRM) will hold a news conference Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET in the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House to formally announce Cheney’s endorsement, display one of the ads, and express support for the vision Gov. Peter Shumlin laid out last week during his state of the state address.

On Thursday, Gov. Shumlin said Vermont “[has] the capacity to take this next step and get marijuana legalization done right” in 2016, and he promised state lawmakers he will work with them to “craft the right bill that thoughtfully and carefully eliminates the era of prohibition that is currently failing us so miserably.”

The coalition’s first ads of the session feature Cheney and highlight the benefits of replacing prohibition with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated similarly to alcohol. Cheney served as Vermont attorney general from 1973 to 1975. Previously, he served as an assistant attorney general and was elected Washington County states attorney. He has held a variety of other civic positions and is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

“As a former attorney general of Vermont, I am committed to bringing awareness to the failures of marijuana prohibition and working toward a safer Vermont,” Cheney said. “We can’t expect a different result by doing the same failed action over again. The only hope lies in a fundamentally different approach; without further delay, the Vermont Legislature should move forward with plans to regulate marijuana in 2016.”

A longer statement from Cheney will be released at the news conference. He will be available for phone interviews Tuesday, but will not be able to attend the news conference because he is out of town on vacation. To set up an interview, contact Matt Simon at 202-905-2025 or msimon@mpp.org.

WHAT: News conference to formally announce the endorsement of former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney, display the campaign’s first ad, and express support for Gov. Peter Shumlin’s vision for ending marijuana prohibition in Vermont in 2016

WHEN: Tuesday, January 12, 1 p.m. ET

WHERE: Cedar Creek Room, Vermont State House, 115 State St., Montpelier

WHO: Bill Lofy, Vermont Cannabis Collaborative

Dr. Joe McSherry, Burlington-based neurologist
Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project
Laura Subin, director, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana
Suzi Wizowaty, executive director, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
Additional coalition members and supporters

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The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is a broad coalition of citizens, organizations, and businesses working to end marijuana prohibition in Vermont and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.RegulateVermont.org.


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