Despite widespread public support, Republicans continues to block reform
Jul. 17, 20184:39 p.m.
As a freshman legislator in 2014, Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) introduced a bill to fully legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. At the time, she found that a lot of residents supported the idea, even if they couldn’t bring themselves to say it out loud. “People would come up to me and quietly say, ‘I’m a fan of the stuff you’re working on’ or ‘Keep up the good work with that one policy,’” Sargent recalls. “It was almost like a wink and a nod. Code words were used.”
Just a few years later, Rep. Sargent has seen a “seismic shift” in public perception. People are much more comfortable talking openly about cannabis, and national polls show a majority of Americans are in favor of its legalization. A 2016 Marquette Law School poll found that 59% of Wisconsinites believe it should be legal and regulated like alcohol.
Eric Marsch, executive director of the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), agrees there is more momentum behind legalization today. Still, he cautions, momentum is not a guarantee. In Wisconsin, the Republican legislative majority continues to resist ideas for reform, and Gov. Scott Walker, a frequent promoter of the “gateway drug” theory, supports prohibition even for medical use. If Wisconsinites don’t vote pro-cannabis candidates into office, Marsch says, legalization is unlikely to happen anytime soon. “When we talk to people now, they say, ‘It’s coming soon, we’re going to get there,’” Marsch says. “But we’re only going to ‘get there’ if people push for it. It’s not just going to happen on its own.”
Read more: https://shepherdexpress.com/news/features/legalizing-marijuana-in-wisconsin/#/questions
The crack about Republicans blocking reform fails to mention that when the Democrats were in charge the same thing happened. I am so sick of this political war.