OK, I’m having a bit of fun with that headline. But that is essentially want Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie told a gaggle of reporters during an anti-marijuana press conference at the Statehouse Friday morning.
Dubie presides over the Vermont Senate, which this week easily passed a bill lowering criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana. And now as the bill heads over to the Vermont House, Dubie stepped down from his podium to speak against the measure.
In explaining his opposition, Dubie mentioned a recent visit he had to a machine shop in Lyndonville. The shop owner complained that he has jobs open, but can’t fill them because "seven out of 10" of his applicants fail a drug test, Dubie told the reporters.
A few of the reporters – including me – were a bit taken aback by that number. Seventy percent of job applicants using drugs seemed very, very high.
"That’s what he told me," Dubie said, when reporters asked him about the piece of info again.
Throughout this debate, I’ve heard many concerns, some valid and some not-so-much, that changing the penalties for marijuana will lead to more kids smoking the plant, higher health care costs and increased mental illness and substance abuse.
But this may have been the first time I heard some one suggest that it is affecting the quality of the available workforce.