Pubdate: Wed, 7 Nov 2007 Source: Seven Days Vermont (Burlington, VT) Column: Inside Track Copyright: 2007 Seven Days Vermont Contact: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3327 Author: Peter Freyne Note: Relevant part of a longer column. Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/people/Robert+Sand Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Marijuana) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/decrim.htm (Decrim/Legalization) OPINIONS ON POT Monday evening's Ch. 3 report by Brian Joyce has stirred up some dust. He reported that Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell was critical of a county prosecutor's decision to drop a felony charge for pot possession against a 62-year-old Windsor County lawyer. According to Joyce, Sorrell said that "on the surface," State's Attorney Bobby Sand's decision "doesn't pass the straight-face test, giving a total pass for possession and cultivation of this much of an illegal drug." Joyce told viewers that Sand told him "all first-time offenders for pot possession get diversion." If that's the case, Sorrell said, Windsor County is definitely the place for pot growers to move to. That drew an email from pot-legalization advocate Sandy Ward, who wrote Sorrell (and copied yours truly along with a couple lawmakers). Ward recalled Sorrell's support for medical-marijuana legislation back in 2002. She noted that the AG based his support for the bill on "the cost" to the state. "One of the shortcomings of any interaction with the media," Sorrell wrote back, "is that the reporter reports what you said that he/she believes best tells the story the reporter seeks to tell . . . I never said that attorney [Martha] Davis should go to jail. But two-plus pounds of pot on hand and a significant grow operation in place does not readily lend itself to the view that this was an innocent self-use situation." Sorrell also writes that he believes in "prosecutorial discretion and the obligation of prosecutors to seek justice, and not just prosecute everyone who commits antisocial and/or illegal acts." Still, he wonders about the message being sent. "Does it seem just that two Vermonters living 10 miles apart in two different counties might be treated very differently for the same conduct?" Good point. Maybe Windsor County is merely pointing all of Vermont in the right direction, eh, General Billy?