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
- Should Milwaukee Eliminate Fine for Small Amounts of Marijuana? - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 25th, 2021
- Can We Talk About Marijuana? Democrats Ask - Melanie Conklin - Jun 7th, 2021
- 9 Takeaways on Local Marijuana Laws - Edgar Mendez - Jun 2nd, 2021
- High Time to Support Cannabis Legalization - State Sen. Melissa Agard - May 5th, 2021
- Op Ed: Senate Leader Blocks Marijuana Reform - Iuscely Flores - Apr 27th, 2021
- Cannabis Backers Switch Focus to Local Laws - Isiah Holmes - Apr 26th, 2021
- It’s Time for Legal Cannabis in Wisconsin - A Better Wisconsin Together - Apr 20th, 2021
- Evers, Advocates Discuss Justice System Reform, Legalizing Pot - Graham Kilmer - Apr 17th, 2021
- GOP State Senate Leader Dismisses Marijuana Legalization - Laurel White - Apr 16th, 2021
- Thousands of Wisconsinites Sign Petition in Support of Cannabis Legalization - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Mar 29th, 2021
Read more about Legalizing of Marijuana here