Is it time for Wisconsin to legalize marijuana? There’s a proposal to legalize the drug for both medicinal and recreational use, Madison Democrat, Representative Melissa Sargent, who concedes the bill is unlikely to advance. Still, Sargent believes it’s a needed conversation.
“Marijuana, in the research that I have done . . . is less damaging than alcohol and cigarettes,” said Sargent. “Should government be involved in deciding that an adult can and cannot do for recreational purposes during their own private time? I believe not.”
Sargent notes the racial disparities surrounding marijuana prosecutions – whites and African Americans partake in about equal percentages, yet far more blacks end up in prison for pot. “That’s not okay. If we legalize it that’s going to stop. We’re spending a lot of time in our criminal justice system for something that we shouldn’t need to do.”
Gary Storck agrees. He heads Is My Medicine Legal Yet, a group which advocates for medical marijuana. “The people of Wisconsin are as interested in this as people in other states,” Storck said. “We haven’t been able to weigh in as they have in Colorado and Washington.”
Storck notes that, in the past, Republican lawmakers have been supportive of proposals to allow for medical marijuana. “I hope we can the to the point where they get away from the kind of lockstep mentality they’ve had, and get back to thinking for themselves,” said Storck.