Pubdate: Fri, 30 Nov 2012
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2012 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck


It was good to read about the WISDOM group and bipartisan support for
alternatives to incarceration for people charged with drug crimes.

Marijuana being the most commonly used illegal substance, state
lawmakers should take note of changing attitudes toward it. Colorado
and Washington voters passed initiatives repealing marijuana
prohibition at the state level. Massachusetts voters made that state
the 18th plus Washington D.C. to legalize the medical use of cannabis.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin has some of the most punitive, backward marijuana
laws in the nation. It has a patchwork of local ordinances and state
law with wide disparities in penalties, and it mandates a felony for
second offense for possession of any amount of cannabis. These
antiquated laws consume criminal justice resources for nonviolent,
victimless activities.

If lawmakers are serious about cutting costs and increasing
efficiencies, decriminalizing pot and taking away the felony for a
second offense would be a long overdue first step.

- - Gary Storck, Madison, co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal Yet?;
co-founder and former president, National Organization for the Reform
of Marijuana Laws, state and local chapters
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