Climate and Cannabis
Another Seven Days cannabis-themed edition [The Cannabis Issue, May 15] ... Meanwhile, the last time something related to carbon pollution was the theme for an issue was January 2015. That observation isn't an outlier. The coverage of cannabis in the Vermont news media has far outweighed the coverage of climate change for several years now — despite the fact that Vermont's carbon pollution is rising steadily.
As the 2019 legislative session wraps up, we know that the legislature and the governor will again not do anything to move the needle appreciably on climate change. That lack of attention from our media and government reflects something painful about our society — something broad, deep and hard to decipher. There are lots of ways to look at it.
But rather than dwelling on all that, here's a more hopeful and compelling way to connect the two topics. Let's legalize pot and put every penny that comes in via the associated taxes into programs that reduce carbon pollution.
Legislative leaders will come up with 10 different reasons not to do this. The answer to that lack of creativity is this: If we don't act aggressively now, none of the other problems we face are going to matter. Carbon pollution will shatter society as we know it. So let's start talking about some new ideas and building some new coalitions. And then get something big done that lots of folks will cheer about.
Not addressed in the fine issue on pot [The Cannabis Issue, May 15] were the energy implications of commercial marijuana production. While both issues appear dead for this year, commercial pot sale and carbon tax legislation are likely to reappear next year.
I suspect many legislators who support pot commercialization also support the carbon tax, which is appropriate. Indoor-grow production of one pound of marijuana has the carbon footprint of an average car driving from Vermont to Seattle and back to Chicago.
Additionally, in Denver, legal pot production accounts for 2 percent of the city's electricity consumption. Is this part of the "Green New Deal"?
Thanks for all the great work you all do to report the news in Vermont. I look forward to a new Seven Days every week.
This week, however, I was shocked, angered and very disappointed by the cover image [The Cannabis Issue, May 15]. The image was reminiscent of a '50s-style Barbie doll: white, skinny-wasted, big-boobed, perfectly primped and made-up. There is no woman who looks like this. There is especially no woman who looks like this in her garden. I believe you completely missed the mark on selecting an image that represents the content of the issue. And in the meantime, you offended me with this unrealistic image that perpetuates a whole host of stereotypes.
I believe you, as a reputable news source, missed an opportunity to represent farmers and gardeners in this state and everywhere: the real, dirty, messy, imperfect image of what it looks like for a human to have their hands in the soil. It is my hope that in the future you consider the role you could have in disrupting stereotypes and use your voice to do so.
Keep Vermont Nuke-Free
While the legislature is winding down but not quite done yet [Off Message: "Walters: Facing Deep Divides, Vermont Legislators Delay Adjournment," May 17], there are resolutions still awaiting action that strongly oppose the basing of any nuclear weapons systems in the state of Vermont.
House Resolution 7 and Senate Resolution 5 are the latest in Vermont's long history of opposing nuclear warfare and the spread of nuclear weapons.
The Senate has been very responsive and has heard testimony on the matter, then passed this resolution out of its committee to be voted upon on the floor. But the House has not allowed discussion nor permitted this resolution to pass out of committee.
Thousands of Vermonters have called, emailed, texted and left messages for their senators and representatives in favor of this resolution. They have repeatedly asked the House to allow discussion and debate on this matter that is extremely important to Vermonters and their values. But so far, the House committee leadership has refused.
We deserve to have this matter of whether or not Vermont participates in, and is an accomplice to, the proliferation of nuclear warfare systems be brought up for discussion and a vote by the legislative representatives of the people of Vermont.
No 'Right' Is Wrong
Yet another threatening, moralizing letter from a gun-control advocate [Feedback: "Waiting Game," May 8]. The writer seems to think that politicians who vote against S.169 should be "replaced."
There is no justification for imposing restrictions on everyone in the state based on the suicide of one despondent adult.
The letter writer then proceeds to impugn the mental capacity of those who disagree with her. In any discussion among reasonable people, this would cause her to be invited to leave the table.
She does do a good job of modeling the psychology of the gun-control advocate. They make personal attacks and threaten when they don't get their way.
She also misses, or is ignoring, the fact that gun ownership is not a matter of professional certification. It is a right.
How about a 24-hour waiting period for abortions? We'll throw in mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds just to make sure women get the point before murdering their babies.
Let me be clear: I support a woman's right to choose. But women such as this letter writer make it hard for me to stand with them as they attack the rights of all people on the basis of the irresponsibility of others.
"How many deaths does it take?!" An excellent argument to vote against H.57, the Vermont abortapalooza bill.
I can play that game, too. But I'd really rather not.
However, you attack my rights, and I will decline to defend yours.
Garcia is codirector of the Vermont Citizens Defense League.