Guns and Drugs

Petersburgh, New York is only about four miles from both Vermont and Massachusetts. If it weren’t for the road signs, you might not know where one state starts and the other one ends. But even if the borders are invisible, there are profound differences when you cross them.

Two examples.

People in Vermont are very much like the people in Petersburgh, except they can very easily buy guns. In fact, Vermont has fewer gun laws than most states in America, and Vermonters can buy as many handguns as they like with no license, permit, or waiting period. Then they can carry concealed with few restrictions.

In the time it takes you to buy a gun in Vermont, you couldn’t even complete the application in Petersburgh.

A short way south, in Massachusetts, ordinary people can walk into a store and buy marijuana. Recreational sale is still in it’s infancy, so it’s not quite as easy to buy weed in Massachusetts as it is to buy a gun in Vermont, but give it time. People are standing in line to buy pot in Mass, but there are no lines for guns in Vermont.

In Petersburgh, marijuana means you need to know somebody —- or know somebody who knows somebody.

It’s true that there are more important measures of freedom than guns and drugs, but to many people, these are meaningful symbols of personal liberty. Both can be misused. Guns, sometimes, in terrible ways.

Petersburgh, so close, yet so far. If the wind is blowing right, you can smell the marijuana, and hear the sound of gunfire drifting over the hills.

6 responses to “Guns and Drugs

  1. I find it amusing that Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin thinks guns are fine, but legal pot is a bad idea.

  2. “In Petersburgh, marijuana means you need to know somebody —- or know somebody who knows somebody.”

    Or drive to Mass?

    • Also, yes — but that’s not the point!

      It was interesting that all the stories about these stores opening took note of the number of cars with NY plates in the parking lot.

  3. In 2015, I was stopped by NYSP at Rte 7/22 intersection. 48 in a 45. OK, but it’s 2:30 AM. Just me in the car, driving back from a shift at Brattleboro Hospital. Full-on empty-the-car-search which took 20 minutes. I suspect they thought I was running guns.

    Federales – “You just have gloves in the glove compartment?”
    Me – “That’s why they call it the glove compartment”

    No ticket but I was bumper-locked by a NYSP Tahoe to the Brunswick substation.

    I have some shifts coming up at Berkshire Med, expecting the same treatment in New Lebanon.

    • Wow — that sounds like a severe case of bored cop looking for drunks. At 2:30 am, arguing about whether it’s a legal search is probably a bad idea.

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