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Marijuana referendums spark legalization talk in candidate debate

Mitch Reynolds

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Marijuana referendums on the ballots around Wisconsin this fall means the issue of legalization can’t be ignored.

The latest senate debate between Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican challenger Leah Vukmir highlighted the candidate’s differences on the issue.

Baldwin supports some legalization.

“We need to know if this is an effective alternative to other drugs for glaucoma or for wastings syndrome or for any number of other conditions,” Baldwin said.

Vukmir, meanwhile, cites what she says are fed warnings about the dangers of marijuana.

“Marijuana is highly addictive,” Vukmir said. “Even more addictive than vicodin and meth and other drugs.”

During the debate, Vukmir also brought up her nursing background in her opposition to marijuana legalization and more concerns.

“I’m very concerned that if we start going down this road and make this legal, what is going to happen to our young people?” Vukmir said.

Meanwhile, Baldwin is open to some form of legalization to at least explore medical uses of marijuana.

“How about an alternative treatment to pain that’s less addictive than opioids, that have killed so many people in this country?” Baldwin said.

In November, some form of marijuana legalization advisory referendum is on the Nov. 6 ballot in two Wisconsin cities and 16 counties, including La Crosse County.

      Vukmir                                  Baldwin