All support federal legalization of marijuana, some would legalize other illicit drugs
By Guy Page
Two of the four Democratic candidates for Congress have never fired a gun and do not own one now, they said on an April 13, VTDigger debate.
According to VTDigger’s coverage of the debate, Kesha Ram-Hinsdale, Becca Balint, Mollie Gray, and Sianay Chase Clifford were asked: “Have you ever used a firearm, and do you own firearms?”
Ram Hinsdale, a Chittenden County senator who lives on a horse farm in Charlotte, responded ‘yes’ to firing a gun and yes to owning guns and yes to owning guns “in my household.”
Balint, a Windham County senator and leader of the Vermont senator, indicated no to both questions. So did Essex resident Sianay Chase Clifford. Lt. Gov. Mollie Gray – who grew up on a farm in Newbury – said yes to having fired guns but no to possessing one at present.
Vermont is 16th in the nation in gun ownership, according to worldpopulationreview.com. Attempted gun purchases were the highest ever in 2020 with 57,965, and second highest in 2021 with 51,549, according to applications for federal background reviews on gun purchases.
On a different issue, Balint, Ram Hinsdale, and Clifford all said they would support federal legalization of marijuana and “other controlled substances.” Gray – again the hair-splitter – said yes to decriminalizing marijuana but no to legalizing other illegal drugs.
Louis Meyers, who declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Congress during the first week of April, offered these responses when asked by Vermont Daily Chronicle:
Firearms – “As a former uniformed reserve police officer, I have previously been trained and certified in the use of firearms, but do not currently own a gun.”
Marijuana legalization – “I supported decriminialization of marijuana and then (less cheerfully) legalization, but I see the push by states to monetize cannabis in order to boost state revenues as an alarming trend. Just as we did not examine all of the potential pitfalls of widespread use of opioid pain medications, I see the same trend in the proselytizing of marijuana.”
VTDigger, with the tacit acceptance of the four other candidates, refused an 11th-hour request by Meyers to participate in the debate, which had been billed as the first debate for Vermont’s all-women race for Congress. VDC asked Meyers to respond to all of the questions asked at the April 13 VTDigger debate; his responses will be published this week.