Weak drug laws make Vermont ‘a destination for drug trafficking,’ Scott says

Vetoes bill seeking pathway for hard drug legalization

By Guy Page

Explaining his veto of a bill creating a pathway for legalizing hard drugs, Gov. Scott yesterday said Vermont’s weak drug laws already make it a drug trafficking destination. 

H505 would have created a Drug Use Standards Advisory Board with a stated goal to identify a path to effectively legalize personal possession and use of dangerous and highly addictive drugs. 

“It places no limits on which drugs can be contemplated for legalization or the amounts, and…..it includes absolutely no recognition of the often-disastrous health and safety impacts of using drugs like fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more,” Scott said in his letter to the Legislature explaining the veto. “Nor does it acknowledge the role of enforcement in tracking down and stopping the dealers who seek to poison Vermonters – including children – for profit.”

The veto drew criticism of “racism” from Scott’s only declared gubernatorial opponent, left-leaning Democrat Brenda Siegel: “We can not be so afraid of studying alternatives to jail that we are willing to uphold a law that is rooted in racism.”

“The Governor’s veto of H.505 upholds a disparity in sentencing that is known to disproportionately impact Black and Brown people across our state and across the country,” Siegel added. “H.505 would have eliminated the crack/powder sentencing disparity and created a board of health experts to study thresholds for possession crimes. The War On Drugs is both racist and classist and to veto a bill that should be such an easy yes shows the Governor’s unwillingness to use data, science and lived experience experts to meaningfully address the Overdose Crisis in this state.” 

But Scott says low-risk drug laws are already part of the problem. 

“Vermont remains a destination for drug trafficking due in part to demand, and in part because of the view by drug traffickers that financial incentives outweigh the risks posed by Vermont’s criminal laws,” Scott said.

Governor Scott also vetoed H.534,  a criminal record expungement bill. 

The bill would make drug-dealing crimes expungable – and given the increase in drug-related violent crime, that’s a bad idea, he said. 

“Vermont is currently experiencing a significant spike in violent crime with most being drug-related. From my perspective, this bill seeks to make offenses relating to possessing, selling, cultivating, dispensing and transporting dangerous, illicit and highly addictive drugs – as well as the use of fraud or deceit to obtain these dangerous drugs – expungable offenses,” Scott wrote.  

Scott allowed – with some misgivings – a Burlington charter change adopting ‘instant run-off’ voting. He let H744 pass into law without his signature. IRV favors third-parties such as the Vermont Progressive Party by giving voters a ‘second choice’. 

But Scott warned legislators not to try to spread the practice statewide:

“I’m allowing it to move forward because its scope is limited to the method of elections of the Burlington City Council. Ten years ago, Burlington voters rejected a similar instant runoff election system because it yielded flawed results. Nevertheless, the political winds have shifted and once again Burlington voters, for now, favor ranked choice voting,” Scott said. “While H.744 will become law, it will be without my signature. I want to be clear, I am opposed to a statewide system of ranked choice voting. I believe one person should get one vote, and candidates who get the most votes should win elections.”  

Also, Scott signed these bills:

H287, patient financial assistance policies and medical debt protection
H500, prohibiting the sale of mercury lamps in the State
H553, eligibility of domestic partners for reimbursement from the Victims Compensation Program

He also allowed H523, reducing hydrofluorocarbon emissions, to go into law without his signature, explaining: “While I support the goals of this bill, I am concerned there may be unintended consequences for Vermonters who own vehicles made in 2015 or earlier. The number of vehicles and impacts of this law are unknown – and hopefully inconsequential – but should be determined before the effective date in January 2023. I have asked the Department of Motor Vehicles to research this and assess the consequences. Should there be undue harm from this bill, I will ask the Legislature to make the necessary changes in January.”

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12 replies »

  1. Not just weak drug laws. Add weak judges and prosecutors to the mix. More and more law enforcement bringing drug cases to federal level. The feds put people away. Wonder how many of the 94 gun incidents quoted in earlier article are “drug related”?

  2. People forget that ALL “drugs” were once LEGAL pre-1914 & it ruined many lives then also. I had a buddy whose grandmother whizzed away a family fortune it was all silence, so I asked my dad, “she was on dope” he said. “if it was cheap & legal back then HOW did the money vanish?” says I..Seems they had “re-habbed” her many times in private “sanitariums” so the COSTS of legalization NOW will have the SAME effects regardless of the “racism” argument by the breeze-brains harping the same old line. It’s precisely the poorer elements slinging dope HERE as encroaching on someone else’s TURF in the city is a death sentence, so why NOT sling dope up here? Maybe do a couple years in the joint but come out ALIVE and even have some snowflakes screaming “racism” & demanding sentence “reforms”, well..until THEIR younger kids or relatives OD, then they might re-think their “rooted in racism baloney. Is THIS system working now? For every dope slinger jailed two more WILL take the chance on a get-rich-quick scheme that almost requires pistols as much as scales & safe houses as a “business investment” & we’ll see MORE “gun violence” from their “competition”. One thing’s for SURE, they can’t DEAL dope and shoot each other & endanger the public while behind bars can they? The alternative? Legalization and MORE junkies & OD’s? Not cool at all..

  3. Phil Scott voted for Joe (10% for the big guy) Biden. Joe Biden opened the southern border wide open for drug and human trafficking. What’s your cut Phil?

  4. This is all fine: We are a state rampant with drugs and drug dealers. But at LEAST we won’t allow the sale of mercury lamps here!!!!!

    THAT is what is important! People’s lives? Meh……..

  5. You really can’t make this stuff up… Drug laws and penalties rooted in racism? These Progressive’s are a one trick pony. but, you have to hand to them for doubling down on these issues knowing the Vermont electorate (and media) all yawn and will keep electing them. Is there a breaking point for Vermont Voters?

    • Lawrence, you’re not kidding – they have informed their sheeple that not allowing legalized prostitution is “racist” too! Therefore, female objectification is no longer a bad thing.

      So a woman not wanting & willing to degrade & dehumanize herself by allowing some random dude to pay her $$ for engaging in the most intimate physical act between two persons is: yeppers, r-a-c-i-s-t yet again!!!

      Try to keep up, folks. It’s not difficult, as Lawrence describes they are nothing more than a one act pony show.

      • Just wait until a woman, (could be your mother, wife, sister, or daughter), not wanting or willing to degrade and dehumanize herself when some random creepy dude physically accosts her on the street, offering to pay her $$ for engaging in the most intimate physical act between two persons, pulls her legal carry handgun and puts a slug into the random dude’s hide… Yep, she’d be a racist, wouldn’t she?

  6. If democrat Brenda Siegel want to make claims of racism in the present-day enforcement of hard drug laws (and the associated violence and human trafficking) a part of her campaign, she can do so at her own peril. Most Vermonters who pay attention know who is bringing the problem to Vermont from downcountry and know that there is an undeniable association with certain ethnic groups with visual characteristics. If she wants to continue with the mantra: “we can’t keep locking up our young Black men” as a campaign slogan, to argue against preventing opioid trafficking and overdoses through law enforcement, more power to her. The organized gangs who do their business here could not care less about the overt race-guilt that some in Vermont exhibit as virtue signaling.

    • You would think that the average voter would see the damage the progressive party has done to Vermont, It all goes beck to the government teat that has been created for the welfare state to keep the party in power. Doing so even though the state and the federal government are broke and massively in debt to the tune of $33 Trillion dollars. This is the inflation tied in with a totally incompetent administration. This is what happens under the theft of an election. No one voted to destroy America but it’s being destroyed and nothing is being done about it, yet.

  7. the demonuts in montpeculiar are more concerned with whether a mascot name is racist… hey Phil you’re the king why don’t you do something about it!!!

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