Reaction To Lauzon's Comments Runs Strong

Reaction To Lauzon's Comments Runs Strong
Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2007 at 12:26:09 PT
By Susan Allen, Times Argus Staff 
Source: Times Argus
Barre, VT -- Mayor Thomas Lauzon's call for the death penalty for crack and heroin dealers sparked a flurry of supportive radio calls Tuesday morning from listeners to local country music station Froggy 100.9."My phones lit up about this story," said JD Green, host of the station's Breakfast Club morning show, who invited the mayor on the air Tuesday at 7:10 a.m. for an hour to discuss his position. "I would say probably 18 out of 20 calls were in agreement with the mayor regarding his position on the death penalty for drug dealers. I was really surprised."
But the death penalty proposal – as well as the mayor's call for the legalization of marijuana — met with resistance from Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper. While Sleeper agreed that Vermont's drug problem is becoming a crisis (drug overdose deaths might rival automobile traffic fatalities for the first time), he said the state needs a balanced approach to solving the problem."I'm certainly considered tough on drug dealers, but we need to keep this in perspective," the commissioner said Tuesday. "Some of these wild theories only seek to divert a reasoned approach to how we can more effectively deal with this problem."Lauzon told The Times Argus this weekend that legalizing the sale and use of marijuana would allow the state to collect fees to be used for prevention and treatment programs. In addition, he called for the death penalty for dealers of crack and heroin, dealers he likened to murderers because they knowingly sell an addictive drug that kills."People who are dealing crack and dealing heroin have zero social value and should be put to death," the mayor said previously.Lauzon said he fully expected politicians to distance themselves from his position. But at the very least, he added, the state needs to hold a forum to talk about the growing drug problem that is reflected in the increased overdose deaths, drug-related armed robberies and even home invasions. He plans to call a multi-day forum in Barre late in April."He got a ton of support," from callers, Green said of the mayor's reception from callers on the radio program. "One right after the other, completely agreeing with the mayor. Basically the listeners are saying, 'It's about time.'"Green said he had expected listeners to be more critical of the two proposals. In fact, he introduced Lauzon on the show and jokingly said, "Have you gone mad?""He wants to start a public forum on this for the whole state. He feels strongly it's a statewide problem that's not localized," Green said. "He's really outspoken on it. He's not concerned with whether his is the popular opinion. He really voiced what's in his heart and what's in his head."But Sleeper was criticial of Lauzon's call for the death penalty. He said in dealing with Vermont's growing drug problem, "there has to be a balance."And on the issue of legalizing marijuana, Sleeper added, "I don't want to knock the mayor, but from my perspective it's not ever as simple as that. You can't say that one substance that currently has thousands of young Vermonters seeking treatment is suddenly OK, whereas other substances are not OK."The argument about legalizing is ridiculous. You're going to flood the market with more drugs and more people will die and more people will fall into this spiral of addition," the commissioner said. "Too many people think of marijuana as a harmless drug, and we need to identify the thousands of young people who are in treatment because of marijuana."Sleeper said police become involved in this problem on two fronts: dealing with overdoses and dealing with crime."The addicts are so intent upon finding money for drugs that they're willing to pick up a gun and go rob a store for what is generally a relatively small amount of money to temporarily diminish the craving of this addiction," he said. "The idea of flooding the market with more drugs is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard of, and people need to step back from their own responsibilities and look at the big picture. It ought to be how can we more effectively deal with young Vermonters who are increasingly falling into addiction."Lauzon has heard from people on both sides of the issue since initially making the statement Saturday."What I've heard from people mostly is thank you for having the guts to say what most of us are thinking," Lauzon said Tuesday. He said some agree with legalization, but oppose death penalty; or vice versa. "Even those who disagree with me have been very respectful and have provided me with some good information."I hold Kerry Sleeper in very high regards. I'd really be interested to hear from him and see what he has to say … here's why it won't work, here's what we need to do," the mayor said. "I'm going to hold those people accountable for the statistics. Have we tried this before and is it effective?"Lauzon reiterated his commitment to a multi-day public forum to discuss the problem and look for solutions."If I serve no other purpose than to start the dialog, I'm happy with that," he said. "People are very concerned."Source: Times Argus (Barre, VT)Author: Susan Allen, Times Argus Staff Published: February 28, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Times ArgusContact: letters timesargus.comWebsite: Articles: Mayor Wants Death Penalty for Drug Dealers Says Drug War Isn't Working
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on March 03, 2007 at 17:21:56 PT
I thought you might like to see the Massey Hall Concert Trailer from 1971. It's coming out the middle of March. I'm looking forward to seeing this.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on March 03, 2007 at 10:43:33 PT
I never understood torrents but I've had a number of CDs sent to me by Neil friends a few years back. Enjoy! 
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Comment #18 posted by museman on March 03, 2007 at 10:28:42 PT
No I didn't know about it. The torrent access interests me. Thanks.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on March 03, 2007 at 09:45:40 PT
It's a snowy slow day and we are listening to Rust Radio. A person named Roel from Amsterdam I think streams live shows from over the years. Right now Hank to Hendrix is playing. I didn't know if you knew about Rust Radio. It's only on the weekends.
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Comment #16 posted by museman on March 03, 2007 at 09:38:38 PT
It is embedded within the page. If you wait it should stream. It won't show up in media player or a browser plug in. If not, please let me know.
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Comment #15 posted by Toker00 on March 02, 2007 at 15:19:34 PT
Well, museman,
I read your song and think it's good, but I don't hear anything. What do I need to hear it?Toke.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on March 02, 2007 at 10:32:05 PT
I'm glad you sent it to Neil. It is a very good song. I am also trying to think about what I want to do since Spring is right around the corner. Spring is always a time of new beginnings. I have a lot of hope about the future for cannabis law reform. I think it will slowly become almost a non issue but I could be wrong. I was so sick for a while this winter and now I am feeling almost like I am back to normal and it's a really good feeling. The snow has all melted and the grass is green and the birds are singing and I just love it.
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Comment #13 posted by museman on March 02, 2007 at 10:21:35 PT
#9 #10 #11
Thanks guys.I want to say that, though my comments have been scarce lately, I'm still 'lurking'. A new spring is coming, and a lot of my projects remain unfinished. I am getting ready to change gears, and hopefully lifestyles. Busy, yet sometimes quite unmotivated to do anything at all.Just wanted to let you know.FoM, I sent it to Neil.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 01, 2007 at 15:13:00 PT
OT: Live Sream from Alabama on Tornado
This sure is a bad storm. If you have a good connection you can check out this live stream.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on March 01, 2007 at 14:52:23 PT
Good song, Museman. Very good. It could crossover from rock, to country, to sacred.Very good. I can also easily imagine Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash (if he were still with us), or Bob Dylan, or Neil recording that song. The words, "Blood and gold" send a shiver through me.
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Comment #10 posted by Had Enough on March 01, 2007 at 14:18:28 PT
Excellent,Music with Message & Truth, good tone quality too.I believe I recall the conversation you mentioned.Encore, More, More – (Bic Lighter held up in hand)
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 01, 2007 at 14:17:06 PT
I love it. Please send it to Neil.
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Comment #8 posted by museman on March 01, 2007 at 12:56:38 PT
an appropriate sharing
First song of the year; inspired by Cnews discussion. Took a month to get recorded, mixed, and mastered.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on March 01, 2007 at 12:25:18 PT
Toker00 comment 4
I agree. If drug "dealers" are up for the death penalty because their drugs can kill...the same should be true of the pharmaceutical people. They ARE drug dealers...and their products can and do kill.Maybe we could get accident proof automobiles if the automobile makers and sellers were up for the death penalty if anyone died in their cars or trucks. How about we give the death penalty to anyone who sends american citizens and allies off to war and they get killed or maimed.Legalize cannabis. It's safer than aspirin.Find a way to legalize, regulate, and keep the price reasonable with the dangerous drugs and just put the street vendors of heroin and crack and stuff...out of business. There are many, many "dangerous" things that are perfectly legal. If natural gas and motor vehicles are legal, why not those drugs, too...instead of the injustice and mayhem of prohibition?Murder is not a good way to deal with a problem...even if the murderer is the state.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 01, 2007 at 04:09:59 PT
Marijuana as wonder drug by Lester Grinspoon
New article in the Boston Globe -"It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine -- and US drug policy -- that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.""If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug."Lester Grinspoon is probably the only psychiatrist I would ever trust.
Marijuana as wonder drug
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Comment #5 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 01, 2007 at 03:53:55 PT
I'm against the death penalty, but....
I'm more against individuals being locked up, sometimes for life, for growing cannabis for their own use.Given the choice between the status quo, where cannabis offenders often spend more time in prison than heroin dealers or even murderers, where people who are very ill continue to needlessly suffer, and where farmers can't grow a plant that could save humanity as a whole, I'll take Lauzon's proposal.
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Comment #4 posted by Toker00 on March 01, 2007 at 03:48:29 PT
Let's be fair.
If Heroin and Crack Dealers get the DEAth penalty, is there also logic in Frankenceutical CEOs getting the DEAth penalty as well? After all, they kill and maim more people with their Dangerous Legal Drugs than all the Illegal Drug DEAths combined and profit from them even more. They, too, have ZERO social value and addict millions of people to their Dangerous Legal Drugs. Wouldn't that be Fair?REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE ELVENTH OF SEPTEMBER
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on February 28, 2007 at 22:37:42 PT
Look before You LEAP, Mayor Thomas Lauzon
LEAP disagrees with your prohibitionist blood-thirstiness. They've been on the front lines of the drug war. I would trust their judgement more than that of the incredibly small sample of callers to the Breakfast Club morning show.I have no love nor respect for heroin and cocaine dealers who knowingly prey on the weak. However, the tough on crime approach has shredded the Bill of Rights and turned the police into domestic soldiers against our own people (those that get caught in wrong address raids by balaclava-hooded, mega-gun-toting, foul-mouthed invaders).
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on February 28, 2007 at 16:21:04 PT
The Dems are doing just as we expected.
They don't want to OWN the war, they want it to remain Bushco's war, so they don't want to cut the funding because it will then become "their" war. While not a surprise, here's a chance to chew on a Democrat to do what we elected them to do this past November. They are running out of chances. We will remind them again on March 17, when we march on the pentagon and in major cities across this Beautiful country of ours. If they don't get it then, then we'll start preparations to kick them out, too. They know this. Two weeks from Saturday the marches begin all over the Nation and the World to condemn the American Empire at the hands of the PNACERs and to resist the Globalists. It will be a measure of our People Power. We must succeed. Because if THEY do, the world is toast. Here's that chance to chew on a Democrat that I promised you:Dear MoveOn member,Democrats are debating a set of plans to stop the escalation in Iraq. Some Democrats are pushing to water down those measures—essentially letting the president off the hook.Voters elected Democrats in November to end the war. Right now, it's clear that they're not doing enough. There are no compromises on stopping the escalation.Can you call Rep. Lampson and ask him to do everything he can to make sure Democrats act to block the escalation and end the war?Congressman Nick Lampson
Phone: 202-225-5951Then, please report your call by clicking here:
It's a pivotal moment. Congress has the power to stop the war, but some representatives are afraid to use it. As the caucus meets and debates, we need to remind them that stopping the escalation and ending the war is what they were elected to do.Some Democratic leaders are nervous about taking any measures that would actually block the escalation and begin to end the war. It's a political calculation—they say they don't want to "own" the war, and they want it to be Bush's problem. That's a failure of leadership: how do you tell a soldier that he's being asked to fight and die because Democrats don't want to own the war?The truth is Democrats will be responsible for the war only if they do nothing to stop it.Luckily, much of the Democratic caucus and leadership are pushing back. But we need to let them know that they have the public's full support, and we need to do it in the next few days, when the plan is being decided.Can you make a call right now?Thanks for all you do,–Nita, Eli, Tom, Marc, Justin and the Political Action Team
 Wednesday, February 28th, 2007Support our member-driven organization: Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.2 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at: FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION,
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.Toke. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 28, 2007 at 12:31:50 PT
Press Release From The Marijuana Policy Project
Senate Votes to Expand Vermont Medical Marijuana Law***February 28, 2007MONTPELIER, VERMONT — A bill that would improve Vermont's medical marijuana law passed in an initial Senate vote today, clearing the way for a final Senate vote expected Thursday.If passed into law, S. 7 would expand the list of qualifying medical conditions to include debilitating conditions causing wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, and seizures. The bill would also allow up to four mature and 10 immature plants. The present limit of one mature and two immature plants is the lowest of any state medical marijuana law and is widely considered unrealistic. In addition, the bill would reduce the registration fee required to obtain an identification card to participate in the program from $100 to $50."Today, the Senate did the right thing for seriously ill Vermont patients who could benefit from medical marijuana," said chronic pain patient Steve Perry of Randolph Center, a former heating/plumbing contractor now disabled by degenerative joint disease. "The House should also pass this compassionate bill quickly, and Governor Douglas should not stop it from becoming law."Of the 11 state medical marijuana laws, Vermont's law is the most restrictive in terms of qualifying medical conditions. Vermont’s law currently covers only patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS."The body of scientific research clearly shows the potential benefits of medical marijuana for a far greater number of conditions than what Vermont's law currently covers," said Dr. Joseph McSherry, a Burlington neurologist who has testified in favor of the expanded bill. "Compassion and common sense dictate that the law protect all patients who, according to the research, might benefit from this medicine."McSherry said a study published last October found that hepatitis C patients who used medical marijuana were more likely to complete their treatment regimens, apparently because marijuana successfully relieved the side effects of the harsh drugs used, and thus were three times more likely to clear the deadly hepatitis C virus from their bodies.Vermont is one of eleven states – including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington -- with laws protecting seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation from arrest and prison.With more than 21,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit
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