Reps. Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) and Jean O’Sullivan (D-Burlington) who co-sponsored a bill to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales in Vermont (but the bill failed to be considered by the state legislature), have filed a new bill which would ban alcohol sales in the state.
Rep. Pearson stated that he does not actually support alcohol prohibition, but filed the bill to make a point that alcohol, a legalized substance, causes more societal problems than marijuana, yet marijuana is (still) illegal.
“This bill proposes to recognize recent scientific studies that demonstrate that alcohol use is significantly more dangerous than marijuana use,” reads House Bill 502.
The bill proposes to ban the “possession, cultivation, distribution and sale” of alcoholic beverages in Vermont. Although, alcohol used for medical purposes would still be permitted; however, as medical marijuana is also allowed in the state.
“Whereas prohibiting the sale and possession of alcohol is a laughable suggestion, the commonsense reaction against this idea should be the same logic we use to consider the continued prohibition of marijuana,” Pearson said.
Under the proposed bill, people 21 or older possessing a “small amount” of alcohol would be issued a civil violation and subject to a fine up to $500 — just like marijuana possession. Possessing larger quantities of alcohol, as well as the cultivation, distribution or sale, would become a criminal offense with penalties ranging from one day to 30 years in prison, and fines of up to $1 million — just like marijuana.