New legislative session brings opportunity for reform
Last update: January 18, 2017
Medical Marijuana and Adult Use Legalization and Regulation
Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) has pledged to introduce marijuana policy reform legislation in the 2017-18 session.
Last session, Rep. Sargent introduced legislation that would have legalized and regulated the production and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. It also would have created a medical marijuana program for seriously ill residents of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this legislation failed to pass through the committee process and never received a floor vote.
This session, legislators may also consider efforts to expand Wisconsin’s limited medical cannabis law, which only allows a non-psychoactive component of marijuana — cannabidiol.
Ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana bill. Meanwhile, if you are a patient with a serious medical condition who could benefit from medical cannabis, the loved one of a patient, or a supportive medical professional, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
It is likely that decriminalization legislation will also be introduced in the coming session. Last session, Rep. Mandela Barnes and Sen. Chris Larson introduced legislation to replace the criminal penalty for possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana with a less severe civil fine. The bill stalled during the committee process and never reached the floor.
Currently, 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.
Contact us: Let us know if you’d like to be involved in the fight for sensible marijuana policy in Wisconsin by emailing email@example.com.
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