Matt Dunne is the Democratic representative running for governor in Vermont. He is firm in his stances on certain issues, and is quick to answer tough questions. Coming from a small town in Vermont himself, Dunne feels he has a good feel for what the state needs.
On Nov. 10 in Jeffords auditorium, he told a small group of Castleton University students his views in a short speech before fielding their questions.
Policies and political views were thrown into the air, questions were asked and answered, before the big question of the night was finally asked.
What are Dunne’s views on the legalization of marijuana?
The answer of the Democratic representative in one of the most liberal states in the country didn’t surprise many.
Dunne stated that he would like to legalize marijuana, but in a more controlled environment than it is in Colorado. Dunne would like to use the tax dollars made from selling it and put them toward preventing adolescents from smoking the recreational drug.
Some in the crowd felt thought that was a little contradictory, but Dunne held firm.
“I believe that if we get it out of the black market, it will reduce the use of it with adolescence,” Dunne said in response to a question.
Professor Rich Clark was in attendance, and happy with the turnout of the event.
“It’s great to see this many people interested with still a year before the election. He is the third of the five declared candidates that we’ve had here already this year. It shows the activism of the students on campus and I think that’s a great thing,” Clark said after the speech.
While marijuana legalization was one topic of the night, it wasn’t the main focus of his speech. Dunne’s campaign mainly focuses on building an economy in Vermont that anyone can be successful in.
According to Dunne, Vermont should be a place with a broadband connectivity where someone should be able to start a business without fear. A place where there are enough opportunities so young people don’t feel that they have to move away after college in order to be able to do something with their degree. A better economy.
A place that his three kids are able to thrive in and are proud to call home.
“We have all the elements we need to have a better economy. We have education, location, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the best beer in the country,” Dunne said, eliciting a few chuckles from the crowd.
Though there were generally positive reactions from the crowd, there was a slight disagreement over the issue of opiate addiction in Vermont. Dunne would like to focus on prevention, putting boots on the ground and focusing on doctors not overprescribing painkillers with opiates in them.
Some students disagreed, stating that it may be more effective to train more police officers in handling people who are addicted to heroin.
Overall, Dunne tackled many issues, and answered all the questions students and spectators had, big or small.
“I’m not a person who makes promises I can’t keep,” Dunne said in closing his closing statement.