Last Update: February 28, 2014
Marijuana policy reform proposals introduced in Madison
The 2014 session is underway in Madison, and sensible marijuana policy reform has been brought to the table for discussion. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D – Middleton) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D – Madison) once again introduced the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. This legislation would protect the seriously ill and their caregivers for using marijuana if their doctors recommend it. Twenty states and Washington, D.C. now appropriately exempt the sick from their laws prohibiting marijuana, yet Wisconsin continues to threaten patients with jail time. Please email your state representative and state senator urging them to support this compassionate legislation.
In addition to medical marijuana legislation, a bill has been filed that would end Wisconsin’s marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system that legalizes adults’ marijuana use and possession and taxes its sales, similar to how the state regulates alcohol. Taxing and regulating marijuana would allow Wisconsin’s law enforcement officers to focus their time on violent and property crimes. It would also allow the state to reap tax dollars off adult sales while letting the state control where, when, and to whom marijuana is sold. Please email your state lawmakers in support of this sensible approach.
If you are a patient with a serious medical condition who could benefit from medical marijuana, the loved one of a patient, or a supportive medical professional, please email email@example.com to get involved. Please include your address or nine-digit zip code, so we can determine who your legislators are. Finally, if you have been arrested for marijuana possession, been denied a job or housing because of marijuana use, or have otherwise been a victim of the current marijuana laws and you would like to help reform them, please let us know.
The legal status of marijuana in Wisconsin
An individual in Wisconsin convicted of mere possession of less than an ounce of marijuana faces a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000! Ask your legislators to support legislation that replaces the threat of jail time and the disastrous criminal record that accompanies a criminal conviction for marijuana possession with a simple civil fine. This simple policy change would allow law enforcement to focus on violent crimes. It would also help reduce the consequences of alarming racial disparities in marijuana enforcement. According to the ACLU, African Americans in Wisconsin are almost six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors are.
You can also ask your elected officials to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and to regulate it like alcohol.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. If you have any questions concerning the status of marijuana policy reform in Wisconsin, you can contact MPP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service today if you haven't done so already.