Vermont Business Magazine Bestselling guidebook author and public TV travel host Rick Steves, an ardent proponent of marijuana legalization, will complete an East Coast advocacy tour in Vermont this week, with visits to Montpelier and Burlington. Steves will visit Montpelier on Thursday to advocate for legislation to regulate marijuana for adults. Steves will testify in the Senate Judiciary Committee (Room 1) at 11:30 a.m. Steves will then join Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and members of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana for a news conference on Thursday afternoon to discuss why Vermont lawmakers should support regulating and taxing marijuana. The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET in the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont State House.
Rick Steves courtesy photo from a show in Ireland.
Last month, Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill that makes possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older, making Vermont the ninth state to legalize marijuana for adults. Unlike the other states, commercial cultivation, processing, testing, and retail sales are not permitted under the Vermont law.
Steves will be wrapping up his regional marijuana policy tour in Vermont on Friday with a public appearance at noon at Skinny Pancake in Burlington (60 Lake Street). At 2:00 p.m., Steves will participate in a live video “Ask Me Anything” segment in cooperation with Heady Vermont, which will be streaming on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarijuanaPolicyProject/.
WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee testimony featuring travel writer Rick Steves in support of legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use; news conference with Lt. Gov. Zuckerman; public event with Steves and other marijuana policy reform advocates, followed by a video Facebook AMA
WHEN: Committee testimony – Thursday, February 15 at 11:30 a.m. ET; News conference – Thursday, February 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET; Public event – Friday, February 16 at 12:00 p.m. ET; Facebook AMA – Friday, February 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Committee testimony – Vermont State House, Room 1, 115 State Street, Montpelier
News conference – Vermont State House, Cedar Creek Room
Public event – Skinny Pancake, 60 Lake Street, Burlington
WHO: Rick Steves
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project
Steves is a long-time advocate for sensible cannabis policy in the United States, serving on the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board. He helped his home state of Washington develop its legal cannabis regulations, and in 2016 he advocated for successful legalization initiatives in Massachusetts and Maine.
Steves will be in the state house Thursday Feb. 15 for a news conference with legislators and advocates to encourage Vermont to take the next step by taxing and regulating a commercial cannabis market. The news conference will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Cedar Creek room. He will also meet with legislators and be available for additional media interviews.
On Friday Feb. 16, Steves will speak at a 12:00 p.m. lunch event at Skinny Pancake (Lake Street) on Burlington’s waterfront. This event is free and open to the public, who are encouraged to arrive early to secure seating.
Friday’s interactive presentation and audience discussion is co-hosted by Heady Vermont and will be live-streamed on the Heady Vermont Facebook page.
At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Steves will wrap up his East Coast tour by participating in an interactive Facebook livestream from the Heady Vermont studio in Burlington. This will be live-streamed on the Marijuana Policy Project’s Facebook page.
Steves is inspired by Europe's pragmatic approach to drug policy, with success measured by harm reduction rather than incarceration. Across our nation, people are realizing that legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults reduces its harm to our communities, Steves said.
Steves’ East Coast tour included stops in Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey — where the newly elected governor has said he expects to sign a law legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis within his first 100 days in office.
Steves will be available for media interviews before and after the news conference on Thursday and on Friday morning. To schedule an interview contact Matt Simon with the Marijuana Policy Project.
Here is an article from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald featuring Steves’ 2016 visit to the state.
The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.
Heady Vermont is a community and digital platform dedicated to Vermont’s expanding cannabis culture and policy reform. For information, visit https://headyvermont.com/