Eli | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Re: “Maple Syrup and Tax Breaks: Can Scott Attract New Vermonters?

As a millennial who's moved back, left, and moved back again, here are two much more economical ideas that would actually attract young people to move to Vermont:

+ Don't tolerate, WELCOME the legal cannabis industry into Vermont with looser regulations than states around us...this new industry would being hundreds of new jobs, new tax revenues, and send the signal nationally that Vermont culture is based on 21st century values; not just a whitewashed Norman Rockwell postcard.

+ Direct financial incentives for people who relocate to Vermont: a $2500/$5000 one-time grant for people under the age of 40 who move to Vermont and live OUTSIDE of Chittenden County for at least two years.

I'd like to be less skeptical about this initiative as we certainly need to bring more young people in, but in marketing, it's not the dusty conservative white guys who typically come up with the most creative ideas. The lack of vision and policy prescriptions from Governor Scott (for-profit prisons, reduced education spending, anti-cannabis) are discouraging, not inspiring, the younger Vermonters already here.

17 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Eli on 01/31/2018 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Public Safety Commissioner Fears Legal Pot Will Increase Traffic Deaths

We previously dug into these numbers in great detail on Heady Vermont, here are a few important pieces that should also be considered:

+ Vermont is presently in the top 10% nationally for safest roads in the country.
+ The number of ALL traffic deaths in Vermont is roughly half the number of suicide deaths annually.
+ The cause of traffic deaths in Vermont attributed to marijuana means that the autopsy included a blood test that showed ANY traces of THC with zero indication of actual impairment. Leading causes of road deaths in Vermont: speed, no seatbelts, alcohol; THC related roadside deaths are identical to motorcycles.
+ Vermont is ALREADY #3 in the country for percentage of the population that have used cannabis in the last month; cannabis is already widely used in this state.
+ The State of Vermont has already spent over $120,000 on a drugged driving media campaign and to fund an "impaired driving coordinator" who spent taxpayer money to host an impaired driving summit last fall.

Any readers (and reporters) that want more details or to use these statistics to combat the ridiculous Reefer Madness statements coming from the Scott administration with actual facts, please feel free to use these statistics and sources, all of which are linked and cited on our original Heady Vermont reporting : http://headyvermont.com/much-ado-about-not…

30 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Eli on 11/15/2017 at 8:49 AM

Re: “License to Ill: Is the Vermont DMV up to the Job?

As the (only) outlet who reported the CBD Oil bust story at the time, a few other details from that specific incident that 7D readers might appreciate as greater context:

- The event itself occurred on June 8, but wasn't included in any DMV press releases or publicized EXCEPT on the DMV's facebook page, a full 12 days later, on June 20.

- Why the delay until June 20 to reveal the news? It was the day before the special session was set to re-convene in Montpelier when legislators were considering the 'marijuana compromise' bill.

- This follows a pattern of Vermont's law enforcement community selectively enforcing cannabis laws in order to influence political discourse...remember the Winooski 'clandestine lab' that shut down the city and resulted in zero charges? Not a coincidence.

- This Vermont DMV incident is presently being considered as larger part of the national lawsuit the Hemp Industries of America is bringing against the DEA.

- The Vermont DMV defended themselves in the comment section of that article by invoking their ability to prosecute federal law (CDL driving licenses) on a federal highway (I89), while the Vermont DMV is a state agency who we don't fund to enforce federal laws (like immigration).

I wouldn't normally post an outside link in the 7D comment section, but since we were the only original news source who covered the initial incident, as well as the follow up with quotes from the Vermont ACLU and tracked down the actual product manufacturer, I'll hope that for the sake of accuracy, 7D moderators will leave this link: http://headyvermont.com/vermont-dmv-public…
- Eli Harrington, Editor & Co-Founder of Heady Vermont

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Eli on 07/26/2017 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Green State Gardener Plants Stake in Cannabis Market

Walsh, thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with me via phone.

Dylan and/or Kelsey, feel free to call me back directly and I'll tell you the same thing that I told Walsh and share my frustration--I'm the one who looks like an asshole here. It sucks that you all thought I'd be this petty, inept, and negative and trash your business in this manner. I've never solicited you for advertising and only ever used my outlets to write positive things about GSG (a year before everyone else). Clearly, we've got to have an honest face to face because we've all got more important, progressive, constructive things to do.

Now we've got an opportunity to reset, so maybe this childish bullshit is a blessing in disguise. and if anything, now we can erase any doubt about where we all stand.

Unlike this troll, I've got better things to do than pick a fight, and if I wanted to trash someone, I'd use one of my own independent media outlets and my own name, not the comment section.

To the imposter: next time at least toss in a link to Heady Vermont so we can at least get some pageviews out here, it's not easy to "compete" with seven days! And also, go fuck yourself you coward.

Elias (Eli) Roberts Harrington

PS--To see how this saga unfolds, go 'like' Heady Vermont on facebook and subscribe to our email newsletter, 'The Sunday Stash' at www.headyvermont.com

15 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by Eli on 12/10/2016 at 1:09 PM

Re: “Zuckerman Launches Lt. Gov. Bid, Focusing on Progressive Values

"Of any issue, he spent the most time discussing his desire to "end the failed Reagan-Nixon-and-whoever-else-you-want-to-name war on drugs" by legalizing marijuana. After arguing that "public policy is stronger when it reflects reality," he jokingly asked his audience to "raise your hand if—" before cutting himself off."

I dunno Paul, I was there actively listening for it and he mentioned reforming weed laws once, and it was almost begrudgingly and in passing. I think that by volume and time, he probably spent the most time talking about his partnership with his wife and that GMO-labeling was by far his biggest single issue presented at the event

0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Eli on 12/13/2015 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Will Highway Safety Put the Brakes on Legalizing Pot in Vermont?

Here's the problem that enforcement still hasn't really addressed: Being able to immediately quantify the level of THC in one's bloodstream still does NOT provide information about impairment and someone's ability to safely operate a vehicle. Two people could have the same nanogram limit reading while one is fully functional and the other is too incapacitated to drive. This is why medical patients (who have high tolerance and are taking cannabis more frequently) object so strongly to using nanogram limits, however calculated.

It's understandable that law enforcement wants a reliable quantifiable figure, and it's realistic that they should have more capacity to enforce the expanding of cannabis laws...the bottom line is that the best way to keep our roads safe is for well-trained police to continue to be vigilant for signs of impaired (from whatever substance) drivers and have enough drug recognition training experts.

Legislators can designate potential cannabis-derived revenues to enforcement for more DRE training and some to public defenders--at this point in the discussion, it's not worth expending too much time and energy looking for a magical technology bullet.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Eli on 12/09/2015 at 10:31 PM

Re: “McKibben Calls Shumlin's Divestment Dance 'Sad,' Slippery

Waste hardwood being recycled (and stocks being simultaneously replanted) is far from equal to burning coal and far from heating 1M+ square feet with dirty #6 heating fuel, which would be the alternative, so let's pump the breaks.

I've had many conversations with friends who work in 'socially-responsible investing' in Boston and heard a lot of talk about 'investor engagement' as the alternative to divestment. Investors who acknowledge that 'keeping a seat at the table' is the only way to influence fossil fuel polluters but who can't credibly threaten to pull investments. Weird that strategy isn't working, right? Divestment is literally putting your money where your mouth is, and there aren't too many evangelists really willing to do that.

The real substantive question is whether divestment is ethically responsible for a state managing thousands of employee pensions. While you'd like to see someone draw a line, I'd rather see it happen first with a private college with 9 figure endowment than with the social security funds for the men and women plowing the roads and keeping the administrative parts of our state government (websites not withstanding) running.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Eli on 09/29/2014 at 4:00 PM

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