Rutland, pot and crime

One of the first things I wondered to myself early this week was how the fatal shooting in Rutland – which allegedly occurred during a deal for a small amount of marijuana – would affect the conversations in Montpelier over decriminalization of the plant.

And after sitting through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pot Thursday, it’s clear that it probably won’t be much.

Sen. Kevin Mullin, a Republican from Rutland County, voted for the bill that came out of the committee yesterday. Interestingly, the lawmaker that voted against the bill is a Democrat from Windsor County, the same place that prosecutor Robert Sand (who kicked off these debates with his calls for new drug policies) hails from.

Mullin did raise the Rutland criminal case during talks Thursday, but only in his arguments to lower from two ounces to one ounce of marijuana for the proposed new regulation to kick in. The chair of the body, Bennington County Sen. Richard Sears, had suggested two ounces in his original rewrite of the bill, but clearly walked into Thursday’s meeting willing to compromise.

But the shooting clearly gave ammo to both sides of the debate this week. Opponents of decriminalization can point to the tragic situation as evidence that the plant is dangerous. Supporters can point out that it marijuana was decriminalized, folks might not have to interact with dealers who also carry guns and crack cocaine to get their dime bags.

-Dan Barlow

5 Responses to Rutland, pot and crime

  1. We tell our Childern to say NO to drugs. Now U want to say YES to them have U all gone nuts.

  2. There is a poll on here that asks:
    What should we do to run the dealers out of town?
    There is no choice of *HELP THE SICK or *REHAB
    Think about it, run the dealers out of town and the junkies get mad and sick and then really bad things happen
    Wake Up Rutland

  3. Dr. William Rainwater

    Blaming marijuana for violent circumstances is no catalyst for change in improving our community. Hard drugs like crack, cocaine, meth, and heroin have hit the streets of Rutland hard in the last ten years. The situation continues to get worse and worse every day. There is no stopping it. Supply meets demand, and there is a huge demand for hard drugs, look around people. Marijuana for the most part isn’t addictive, and has many medical uses. Jesus Christ used marijuana in the anointed oils of the Hebrew texts of Exodus (do the research you’ll find this to be true). Thought to be given by the God Shiva in the Hindu religion, the Indian government regulates their citizens use of it. The Dutch have found a common ground for their coffee shops, and further north the Canadians realize that intellectual and reasonable people use it everyday. Stop wasting our efforts on simple marijuana use, and combat this Crack epidemic in Rutland. Perhaps all the baby-boomers who forgot about the counter cultural movement should step up to the plate, my hope is that one day there is a common ground, and respect for a plant that remains taboo. The real way Rutland needs to wake up is to realize Pot smokers can be productive citizens, teachers, mentors, and for the most part our brothers and sisters.
    Stop watching “Reffer Madness” and spewing your LBJ era propaganda. Open your eyes to the real issues. Our efforts need to inspire intellectual change, and acceptance.
    Dr. William Rainwater

  4. Take Rutland Back!!!

    How about funding the drug task force with drug money that is confiscated? Use their own money against them! Where does that go??
    I realize the City police have alot to deal with before they do a raid, But one day just two houses down from where I live my daughter and I walked past a drug deal going down and saw a huge amount of I believe to be crack sold. I reported it and I am not sure what ever became of it.
    The city police need to take immediate action when the people of Rutland get involved! Also The people need to observe their surroundings and report all suspicious activity. Don’t let the dealers and users intimidate us!! I have three young girls and certainly fear for them.
    Take Rutland Back!!!

  5. Rutland County as a whole is disturbing. State’s Attorney Mongeon, does not prosecute to deter people from commiting crimes and is too light on Drugs & Deaths.
    This man is ignorant, and oblivious to the harm he is causing our Communities. EVERYONE should have voted for Rita Phelps!