The Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, Vermont Sheriffs Association, and Vermont Police Association stand united against efforts to legalize marijuana and proposed increases to marijuana dispensaries.
The Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police sent a letter to Gov.Shumlin applauding his efforts to combat opiate addiction, yet voiced their concerns over the appearance of the administrations tolerance of marijuana. Vermont Law Enforcement has had to engage in conversation with the governor’s office and other elected officials, as a result of our collective input to date we feel we have been largely ignored.
Vermont law enforcement has several concerns around the topic, which revolve around public safety and health of Vermonters. Law enforcement leaders expressed their concerns to the governor regarding: Associated health risks to all Vermonters, including but not limited to carcinogens, lung disease, heart disease, increased insurance costs and addiction related treatment; highway safety, including but not limited to lack of presumptive testing for impairment and comparative statistics of increased traffic accidents in states with legalization; and employment related matters, including but not limited to pre- employment testing, usage in the workplace, and safety.
The Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police together with The Vermont Sheriffs Association and the Vermont Police Association are voicing their concerns over how best to protect the citizens of Vermont. We believe it is in the best interest of our state to promote health, safety, and to work diligently to reduce substance abuse in our state. We encourage the governor’s office to be a leader in this area and follow other state’s leads like Gov.Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire against the legalization of marijuana. We believe that the governor’s office should listen to health officials, educators, and substance abuse professionals in addition to law enforcement. We all have a common goal of living in a state free of the societal problems of addiction and crime. We urge the public to speak to your local leaders and be open to listening to all sides regarding this important issue.
Douglas Johnston, President
Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police
Keith Clark, President
Vermont Sheriffs Association
Bruce Melendy, President
Vermont Police Association