Marijuana Reform | Occasions-Tribune


A single point I discovered early on when coming to the Madison location is that there are a lot of pot smokers about right here. I don’t forget driving about final summer time and smelling the sweet-scented smoke wafting from a window or yard each couple of blocks.

I also wrote a story early on at the Occasions-Tribuneabout medicinal and recreational bills introduced to the Wisconsin legislature final year. Most notably, I talked to Melissa Sergeant, who has introduced various bills with the intent of legalizing the broadly made use of plant. It failed final year. Not a single to give up, apparently, she introduced yet another recreational legalization bill in May well of this year–the fourth she has presented.

The bill likely does not have the legs to get off the ground as most Republican legislators have remained strictly opposed to the notion of complete legalization, and only assistance heavily restricted medicinal use, also illegal in the state. 

With recreational cannabis legal in Michigan and quickly Illinois, and the drug decriminalized in Minnesota, a single cannot enable but consider that the state is missing out on the tax dollars that cannabis sales take in. For instance, Colorado, the 1st to legalize the plant in 2014 immediately after voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, has taken in more than $1 billion in taxes and charges, according to the Colorado Division of Income. The vast majority of the income brought in goes to public security, schools and human solutions. 

Crime, specifically DUI for marijuana, is a massive concern for states legalizing the drug. Maintaining with Colorado as the instance for the reason that of the longevity of the law and most complete information collection, the Colorado Division of Justice saw a 15 % lower in general DUIs in the state among 2014 and 2018. In addition, marijuana impairment DUIs remained steady at seven %. Enforcement of black-industry marijuana arrests elevated, but the report cites the elevated concentrate on black market marijuana as nicely as an enhance of officers hired to enforce the law, a 66 % jump.

While fatal targeted traffic accidents decreased for these below the fluence of Delta-9 THC, accountable for marijuana’s psycho-active impact, from 11.six % to 7.five %,  among these with any cannabinoid in their technique, fatalities rose from 11 % to 22 %.

The quantity of marijuana mailed from the state has also elevated. The United States Postal Service reported 15 packages containing a total of 57 pounds in 2010, and 1009 parcels amounting to 2001 pounds in 2017.

One more concern has been use amongst teens now that marijuana is legal. The study located that marijuana use amongst teens went down and the quantity of students who reported smoking marijuana at least as soon as remained the unchanged.  Additionally, these who reported working with marijuana prior to the age of 13 dropped from 9.two % in 2015 to six.five % in 2017. Alcohol was the most broadly made use of drug at 59 %, followed by e-cigarettes at 44 %. Marijuana came in third at 35 %.

In Illinois, legalization will take location in January 2020, and with Rockford just 75 miles away from Madison, I suspect the state will be acquiring lots of business enterprise and tax income from its neighbor to the north, but what will be the consequences for our state? I had difficulty discovering information on surrounding states, regarding marijuana use, so it is tough to know. 

Kansas, which is also an island when it comes to legalizing, is surround by states with each recreational and medicinal types of the drug. It does not track the quantity of arrests for marijuana possession or arrests, nor does it hold track of the origin of seizures to discover if they have come from other states. 

Not only do states take in taxes from the sale of the drug, but also from tourism. In Colorado you can keep at a resort that caterers to marijuana smokers and presents a “bar” of various marijuana strains to pick from. In Michigan you can do a “puff and powder” weekend that combines skiing and marijuana

Possibly it is time for Wisconsin to jump into this century, immediately after all, 33 states have legalized either recreational or medicinal marijuana, but Wisconsin makes it possible for neither. Lt .Gov. Mandela Barnes quipped earlier in the summer time, “At some point, Wisconsin residents could turn into a single of the biggest donors to the Illinois Tollway.”



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