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Re: “Ashes to Ashes: Smoking Bill Puts Senators in Bind

Ex-smokers might want to skip this comment for now.

Truth bomb: tobacco is great! So long, that is, as there are mechanisms for controlling/ceasing one's consumption.
Everybody envies that ideal social smoker who can have a smoke at the club a few times a year without any harm (and for those who hyperbolically claim one smoke kills, even the research of insurance companies, whose accuracy is highly incentivized, acknowledges that when not to excess, there's no perceptibly increased risk).
And with good reason: smoking can be great fun--even healthy--it's true. By contrast, nanny state oppression might even drive youth to literal drugs.

Vermonters know this. The issue is one of moderation, of temperance. Some, though far from all, have this in spades without any external assistance. Others, not so much. You know this. And since potentially addictive substances can distort discipline/objectivity in-the-moment, the solution for all is a confidential tobacco card/registry used to purchase tobacco products (e.g., simple linkage to one's license / free card for the unlicensed).
Then, opting-in would confidentially track and allow for reviewing one's tobacco consumption, as well as setting limits/alerts or even temporary/permanent prohibitions on oneself--irreversible without great effort, preventing any purchase beyond that which a Vermonter allows him or herself.
Maximal pleasure, revenue, and discipline.

Some will bum smokes, yes, or even smoke butts (ugggghhh) though this is only minimally sustainable. Straw buys should be disincentivized, yes. An initial system opt-out to protect privacy/liberty seems good.
This system proposal is obviously highly speculative/tentative and partial by necessity.
With this system in place, there's also some small chance limited smoking by youth could become generally safe, though, yes, Sen. Degree's proposal certainly seems most prudent for now.

Btw, brava for Sen. Flory's courageously frank discussion, defense of youth rights, and defense of liberty.

8 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by vtcommentary on 04/12/2017 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Vermont Senate Leaders Dubious of Marijuana Legalization Plan

The latter point raised by Sen. White seems to be incorrect, insofar as the proposed legalized cultivation allows Vermonters to gift cannabis to each other, as occurs in Washington D.C., which then might disrupt extralegal cannabis markets (seemingly entirely beneficial, though perhaps with accompanying negative impact, e.g., were merchants to substitute highly damaging rather than beneficial products). Only prohibited persons (e.g., minors) would then have incentive to extralegally obtain cannabis--perhaps best resolvable with relatively harsh disincentives to their possession/consumption of cannabis. The bill has the advantage of avoiding government endorsement of, let alone direct provision of or profit from, a potentially damaging product, avoiding conflict of interest and moral repugnance. This tentative analysis assumes that the bill distinguishes sale and distribution per se. It may not (presumably to preclude selling via convoluted subterfuge), though that's likely rectifiable by legalizing distribution and receipt up to a fixed amount per month, with at most minimal compensation, perhaps under oversight of a largely indemnified cannabis club or co-op. Then, the government simply promulgates guidelines for the private watchdogs, sanctioning nothing more than Vermonters having and sharing any excess growth of a plant widely agreed to therapeutically benefit some individuals, merely shifting the determination of licit benefit from government to individual conscience (ideally with advisory assistance). On moral and medical grounds prudence calls for safeguards to ensure that use is holistically relatively benign for an individual, e.g., requirements for a current "cannabis permit" from a medical/club/state official, disincentivized strictly recreational use (vs. cultivation) perhaps eventually allowed though only in-club, and/or requirement of at least nominal therapeutic purpose (e.g., as an herbal supplement, with curative claims limited to doctors). The only missing component is potency testing (a matter for private innovation). These points are presented here in a necessarily partial and tentative way.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by vtcommentary on 04/12/2017 at 4:07 PM

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