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
- Senator Agard Sends Letter to JFC Co-Chairs in Support of Keeping Legalization of Marijuana in State Budget - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Feb 10th, 2021
- Chairwoman Nicholson Supports County and State Efforts to End Marijuana Prohibition - County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson - Feb 10th, 2021
- MKE County: Resolution Cuts Pot Possession Fine to $1 - Graham Kilmer - Feb 9th, 2021
- Supervisor Ortiz-Velez Introduces Proposal Reducing Penalty for Marijuana Possession - Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez - Feb 9th, 2021
- Wisconsin Would Use Marijuana Legalization to Pay For Education, Equity - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2021
- Senator Agard Supports Governor Evers’ Budget Provision to Legalize and Tax Marijuana in Wisconsin - State Sen. Melissa Agard - Feb 7th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Proposes Legalizing Marijuana, Investing Portion of Revenue in Equity Initiatives and Rural Schools - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 7th, 2021
- County Supervisors Back $1 Pot Penalty - Gretchen Schuldt - Feb 6th, 2021
- Cannabis Reform Gets Bipartisan Support - Isiah Holmes - Nov 8th, 2020
- A Day to Consider Legalizing Pot - Isiah Holmes - Apr 20th, 2020
Read more about Legalizing of Marijuana here