Vermont is far from the idyllic place it used to be. Hard working farmers, church suppers and small towns where everybody knew each other are rapidly fading into the past. For those of us who have lived here for generations, it’s heartbreaking. Although many, including Vermont’s governor, Peter Shumlin, would conveniently point their fingers at the influx of out of state, big city drug dealers, the root of the problem lies within a much bigger problem within the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Vermont has simply become an unaffordable place for it’s indigenous population to live. Hard working farms of the past decades continue to dwindle into obscurity. Years ago, teenagers on summer school vacations would work on local farms to earn spending money. The pay was actually very good. Fast forward from the 1970’s to now and you will find yet another Vermont problem. Illegal workers are now doing the chores at the few remaining farms, because people in Vermont will not accept the work. Wages have not kept pace with the cost of living, resulting in an epidemic of entitlements and welfare for those who either do not want to work, or cannot afford to live on minimum wages. As the saying goes “idle hands are the devil’s tools” and this is one of the main reasons why Vermont has a serious heroin and drug problem. If people could be put back to work and paid wages they can afford to live on with dignity, that might be a great step towards reducing supply and demand, hence thwarting drug dealers in the process.
Channel 4 News went to Vermont, to find out what it’s like living in a small-town state, fighting a big addiction problem. The governor of Vermont tells Kylie Morris the heroin crisis the state faces should be treated as a disease and not a crime.
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