Petition to Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House
Vermonters Want Comprehensive Marijuana Legalization
Vermonters have a history of being on the moral side of history by opposing unjust law. A leading example is the Habeus Corpus Law of 1850 which was passed by the Vermont Legislature to command state law enforcement agents and judges to assist captured fugitive slaves. In response to Vermont's Habeus Corpus Law, then U.S. President Millard Fillmore threatened Vermont with a military occupation for essentially nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act within Vermont’s borders. Vermont was not intimidated. Marijuana prohibition is another example of an unjust law we Vermonters oppose. While federal code criminalizes the voluntary use, cultivation, and exchange of marijuana by informed and consenting adults, jurisdictions such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia, have taken independent measures apart from the U.S. Congress to decriminalize and/or re-legalize the consumption, cultivation, and trade of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Vermonters who support marijuana decriminalization and legalization do not necessarily condone drug use. However, we do oppose the dangerous practice of criminalizing consensual and victimless behavior by responsible adults. We the undersigned Voters of the State of Vermont, petition the State of Vermont to uphold it's constitutional duty to promote the general welfare through public health and safety policy, by defining reasonable regulations around personal marijuana use, cultivation, and commerce, such as product safety standards and product labeling requirements to facilitate informed consumer choice. We believe marijuana has not been empirically proven to be a significant danger to public health and safety justifying criminalization. No negative physiological health effects have ever been proven to be caused by consuming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) found in marijuana. Since legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012, Colorado violent crime rates have declined, and the growth rates in impaired driving and marijuana use by minors are statistically insignificant. We believe marijuana prohibition is not a reasonable form of regulation, but the abdication of regulatory authority by the State of Vermont, whereby public courts become closed to a minority group of consumers for adjudicating civil and business disputes, arguably in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and whereby state regulatory authorities cease to protect Vermont consumers by defining product safety standards and product labeling requirements. We recognize the collateral damage caused by marijuana prohibition as a greater danger to public health and safety than personal marijuana use, cultivation and regulated trade. Our conclusion is based on the large number of otherwise law abiding, functional, and peaceable human beings having their private property confiscated under civil asset forfeiture law, and whose prospects for future prosperity are harmed after being labeled criminals for life over a marijuana related arrest and conviction. We require expungement of all nonviolent marijuana related arrest and conviction records. Over 80,000 Vermont residents surveyed by the RAND Corporation admit to regularly using marijuana. This suggests a narrow jury pool for Vermont prosecutors who wish to convict persons for the victimless acts of possessing, growing and voluntarily transacting for marijuana. We affirm every human being has natural authority over their mind and body, whereby the free exercise of informed choice, voluntary consumption, consensual trade, and cultivation of marijuana among responsible adults must be protected by Vermont state statute and municipal ordinance. We believe moral ends require moral means, and we recognize marijuana prohibition as both an ineffective and immoral means of promoting public health and protecting public safety. Our belief is based on overwhelming evidence from legal and policy research groups dating back to landmark finding of the 1972 National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (aka The Shafer Commission), showing unreasonable collateral harm being done to individuals, families, and society from marijuana prohibition enforcement. We believe police lives matter. Marijuana legalization reduces demands on law enforcement to confront otherwise law abiding individuals over behavior as personal possession, consumption, cultivation, and consensual trade, which enhances officer safety by reducing officer exposure to harmful risk, and reserves crime-fighting resources for allocation towards solving and preventing genuine crimes having genuine victims. We believe responsible adult Vermonters have the moral right, civil right, and legal right to grow marijuana at home for personal use. If the people do not have a right to grow marijuana at home for personal use, no representative of the people in government may commercialize and license-out a nonexistent right of the people for profit. Lawmakers shall not turn the people into a captive market and divorce them from their values and capabilities, by commercially licensing-out the people's right to grow marijuana, while denying the same people the same ability to personally exercise this right for themselves. We believe genuine marijuana legalization restores civil rights. Racial and political minorities are arrested at higher rates for illicit marijuana not because police are inherently biased or racist, but because prohibition laws were designed to disrupt minority communities under the guise of public safety. President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman, admitted on public record about the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) saying, "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities." Therefore, We the undersigned Voters of the State of Vermont, pledge to support political candidates who back comprehensive marijuana legalization. We pledge to oppose any political candidate in Vermont’s upcoming state, county, and municipal election cycle(s), who explicitly or implicitly opposes passing a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill. Thank you for signing our petition. Our goal is to get 10,000 voters to sign before Vermont's 2017 legislative session closes. Please share our petition with your friends and family over Facebook, Twitter and email. Doing so helps improve petition visibility which brings us closer to our goal.
Petition to Miro Weinberger, Noelle MacKay, Chapin Spencer, David E. White, Brandon del Pozo, Eileen Blackwood, Sharon Bushor, Max Tracy, Sara Giannoni, Kurt Wright, Chip Mason, Karen Paul, Adam Roof, Jane Knodell, Dave Hartnett, Joan Shannon, Richard Deane, Ali Dieng
Save 242 Main: Legendary Teen Center and USA's Longest-Running All Ages Punk Rock Venue
242 Main has brought a community of young adults together where they can fearlessly share what matters and learn to respect each other. It’s Burlington's voice for diversity in art and the human experience, fostering social bonds and confidence. It’s launched many young people on creative paths that led to fulfilling lives. 242 Main is an institution led by our city’s youth and nurtured into a national landmark. It has a treasured history of inclusivity and a triumphant legacy of being the nation’s oldest, longest-running all ages punk rock venue. 242 Main has championed the growth of young adults who are confident, critically-minded, and engaged with their peers and community. It has fostered generations of creative community-minded citizens and is an irreplaceable resource. We see Mayor Weinberger, our city department chiefs, and each of our City Councilors, as citizens sharing our vision for a healthy, participatory city that respects diversity, inclusion, empowerment, civic engagement, and creativity. We understand that deferred maintenance has jeopardized all the programs inside Memorial Auditorium, where 242 Main lives. We ask that as you resolve the structural issues with Memorial Auditorium by repairing or redeveloping the building, please keep 242 Main in its current location, operating as a teen-led program that can continue its legacy of serving Burlington’s youth in its uniquely powerful and historic way, providing an outlet for their creative and social vision. Please make this ‘community benefit’ a priority within the redevelopment process. This will make our community stronger by demonstrating that we all share an inclusive vision and a spirit of living up to our responsibilities to each other and the meaningful things we’ve built together. (Photo by Tim Snow, @TimSnowPhoto)
Petition to Peter Welch
VT's 2018 Democratic U.S. House of Rep. candidates should debate before the primary
We would like to see an in-person debate between all of the democratic candidates running for Vermont's single seat in the House of Representatives. Debates are a great way for the public to learn about the candidates before they reach the ballot boxes and they serve as an important part of our democracy. This year's candidates include: Peter Welch (incumbent) is seeking his seventh term in the house Daniel Freilich (progressive democrat) is a navy doctor whose campaign platform emphasizes campaign finance reform Ben Mitchell (democratic socialist) is an educator who currently works with at-risk high school students in Keene, NH Congressman Welch has ignored our requests for an in-person debate thus far, and we think he should step up to the plate. This debate is important for his fellow voters, Vermonters, and Americans to have the opportunity to educate themselves on the issues we're facing as a state, and as a nation, and choose the candidate who best reflects their views. On Peter's website it says that his "accomplishments in Congress reflect his strong commitment to bringing people together to find common ground on the challenges facing our nation." We believe that someone so committed to the people shouldn't shy away from the chance to hear and discuss different perspectives if it's what the people want.
Petition to vermont fish and wildlife
Vermont's Daily Limits on Brook Trout
Vermont's general regulation for trout in rivers and streams allows anglers to harvest up to 12 trout a day, only six of which can be nonnative browns or rainbows, but all 12 of which can be native brook trout. The 12-fish limit on brook trout in Vermont is more than double that of other Northern New England states, and 33% or more higher than all other states in New England, the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. To learn more go to https://nativefishcoalition.org/nfc-documents/2018/3/1/vermont-daily-bag-limits-for-brook-trout 1. Should Vermont provide a higher level of protection to native trout than it does nonnative trout in rivers and streams? 2. Should Vermont provide a higher level of protection to wild trout than it does stocked trout in rivers and streams? 3. Should Vermont provide a higher level of protection to wild fish in rivers and streams than it does stocked trout in lakes and ponds? 4. Would you support a modification to the Vermont daily limit on trout that reduces the number of native brook trout that can be harvested to that allowed for nonnative brown and rainbow trout? If you answered “Yes” to questions 1-4, please show your support for a modification of Vermont's daily limit on brook trout in rivers and streams by signing this petition.
Petition to Louis Porter, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Committee, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board Members, Senator Tim Ashe, Representative Mitzi Johnson, Representative Carolyn Partridge, Representative David Deen, Robert Starr
Kill the Contest, Not the Coyotes
Vermonters Needed to Spare Coyotes From Senseless Death A statewide coyote killing contest is scheduled in Vermont for the entire month of February 2018. This heinous activity is being sponsored by Series11 Sporting Goods and the Weston Rod & Gun Club. This is nothing more than a killing spree just for the "thrill" of the kill. Not only are these crude “contests” allowed, the contest "winner" who kills the most coyotes (highest accrued weight) will be awarded the 1st prize of a gun and will have “bragging rights.” These killing contests are not based on sound wildlife management or conservation practices. It is disappointing that such contests are not already prohibited under Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunting regulations. It is a positive step that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department acknowledges in their 2017 coyote position statement, Coyote Control and Hunting Contests, that “In recent years, competitive coyote hunting contests have been held by hunters. The Department does not sponsor, promote, or encourage coyote hunting tournaments.” and that “Coyote hunting contests are not only ineffective at controlling coyote populations, but these kinds of competitive coyote hunts are raising concerns on the part of the public and could possibly jeopardize the future of hunting and affect access to private lands for all hunters.” The full position statement document can be found here. Eastern coyotes (Canis latrans) mate for life. Adult males and females are the core of the family group. Often, the family group will include young of the year, and may occasionally include yearling coyotes from previous litters. It is tragic to imagine what the devastating effects of a mass killing would have on a coyote family. A 2005 news article covering a VT coyote killing contest may be read here. Wooded areas specifically will pose very real risks to your safety and that of your pets during the month of February if this contest is not stopped. Domestic dog breeds which closely resemble coyotes are at highest risk of being injured or worse. Please keep your dog near you and on-leash while you are in the woods or even avoid the woods if possible. Consider posting your land to make it legally off-limits to coyote hunters. All Vermonters concerned about this killing contest should take these immediate actions (Vermonters only, please): Sign and share this petition with other Vermonters on social media or by e-mail Put a post on your local Front Porch Forum asking others to sign this petition. If not already a forum member, you can sign up for free here: https://frontporchforum.com/ Ask Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Commissioner Louis Porter to use his position to eliminate coyote and other wildlife killing contests: Louis.Porter@vermont.gov Contact your legislators asking them to support legislation to stop coyote killing contests and the open season on coyotes. Find them here. Coyotes need your help to put an end to this and future coyote killing contests. Can they count on you?