Yes and No on Marijuana
Evers is right: No to full legalization but yes to medical cannabis, decriminalizing possession of small amounts.
In his budget address Evers said: “our budget will decriminalize marijuana possession for 25 grams or less.” He has also called for an “expungement (erasing) procedure for individuals who have completed their sentence or probation for possession …”. This approach has been endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA) which has called for “public health based strategies” rather than fixating on incarceration. In March, the Medical Societies of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and New York agreed, while opposing legalization.
Reforming the criminal justice system on “marijuana-related crimes” (6 percent of state inmates) will reduce prison populations and racial disparities (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). However, GOP legislative leaders have signaled scorched-earth opposition. They should instead listen to former Wisconsin GOP Governor Tommy Thompson: “We lock up too many people for too long. It’s about time we change the dynamics. I apologize for that.” An honest conservative.
There is very little evidence-based research on medical marijuana. “Because the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I drug, research on marijuana or its active ingredients is highly restricted and even discouraged in some cases. … Without clear answers (on the efficacy of medical marijuana) hospitals, doctors and patients are left to their own devices, which can result in poor treatment and needless suffering” (Kaiser Health News). The AMA, Wisconsin Medical Society and National Academy of Medicine support research (which should examine marijuana commonly used).
All of the above leads to the elephant in the room – full legalization of marijuana, of which Evers wisely steers clear. Recent articles from the Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and Lancet Psychiatry highlight physiological and psychiatric dangers of using marijuana. Doctor Gail D’Onofrio, Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, summarized some of the findings: “The harmful effects of marijuana, including impairment of judgment, driving ability and precipitating psychosis in adolescents far exceed its benefits. States should not balance their budgets (taxing marijuana) by jeopardizing the health of the public.”
Yes on criminal justice reforms and medical marijuana, no on full legalization.
This column was originally published by Wispolitics.com
- A Day to Consider Legalizing Pot - Isiah Holmes - Apr 20th, 2020
- New ACLU Report: Black People Four Times More Likely to Get Arrested for Marijuana Possession in Wisconsin - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Apr 20th, 2020
- ‘When, Not If’ Medical Marijuana Is Legalized - Corri Hess - Feb 4th, 2020
- State Residents Cross Border for Legal Pot - Corri Hess - Jan 3rd, 2020
- GOP Bill Legalizes Medical Marijuana - Shawn Johnson - Dec 11th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: More People Using Pot as Medicine - Shayli Kipnis - Nov 9th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Bill Eases Burdens On Pot Offenders - Natalie Yahr - Nov 6th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Pot Possession Charges Cause Big Problems - Natalie Yahr - Nov 2nd, 2019
- Bill Would Decriminalize Pot Possession - Laurel White - Oct 30th, 2019
- Senator Larson Continues to Support Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana - State Sen. Chris Larson - Oct 30th, 2019
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