Marijuana advocacy group to hire Vt.organizer


The Marijuana Policy Project is seeking a part-time organizer in Vermont to build support for a push toward legalization.

Matt Simon, New England political director for the national marijuana advocacy group, said the Vermont organizer will lead a "grass-tops" effort to build on the progress that led the Legislature to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug in 2013.

"That person will build support and focus on some key districts," Simon said. He said he was unsure whether that would mean targeting certain candidates in the fall election. "We’ll have to wait and see after the filing date." Candidates for House and Senate must file petitions to appear on the ballot by June 12.

The group intends to support the reintroduction of a bill to legalize marijuana in January. Simon said 2015 might not be too soon for Vermont to consider legalization. He said by then data from Colorado, which legalized pot on Jan. 1, would encompass a full year.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, who received $8,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project in the last election cycle, has said he is happy to wait for the results of legalization in Colorado and Washington before pursuing similar legislation in Vermont.


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