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As I See It

A solid middle ground between legalization and criminalization



More and more states are legalizing marijuana, including Wisconsin’s neighbors. But the Badger state remains hung up about the drug, seemingly considering it more something from Reefer Madness than a way to treat pain and ailments. That could change. A bill has been introduced in Madison which would essentially decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Surprisingly, this bill has bipartisan support. Traditionally the Republican controlled Legislature has blocked any legislation to allow marijuana use. Governor Evers’ budget would have legalized the drug, but republicans blocked that from happening. They won’t even consider allowing the medicinal use of the drug. But things could be changing. This bill has about a dozen cosponsors, from both political parties, and from both chambers of the Legislature. It is a good middle ground between legalization and locking up pot smokers. It would allow for the possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis and would not put those caught with the drug in jail. The bill also would remove the patchwork of municipal laws, where some cities have dropped possession fines altogether. It seems likely that one day pot will be legal everywhere. Wisconsin is apparently not ready for that step, but should at least back down from its lock ‘em up approach to pot possession.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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