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1US WI: Billions At Stake As Wisconsin Discusses Legalizing MarijuanaSun, 29 Sep 2019
Source:Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2019

CHICAGO - The historic hub of black culture on the south side of Chicago called Bronzeville bears the marks of disinvestment common to many of the city's black-majority neighborhoods.

Along the expansive South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, lines of greystones alternate in and out of disrepair, and many of the district's blocks that were once home to vibrant institutions - earning it the name "Black Metropolis" - are now mottled with overgrown, vacant lots. A census tract within the area is one of the poorest in the city.

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2 US WI: Wisconsin Man Terrell Banks Says Marijuana Led Him To StabWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Magness, Josh Area:Wisconsin Lines:57 Added:02/09/2018

He smoked pot, grabbed a steak knife and meditated, cops say. Then his mom walked in.

Terrell Banks told police the paranoia set in after he smoked weed.

Banks, a 23-year-old from Racine, Wisconsin, allegedly said the marijuana "put him beyond his comfort zone," even though the drug has never made him feel that way before, according to Fox6.

He grabbed a steak knife, he told police, and walked around his house because of the unsettling feeling.

He tried to meditate, Banks said, but the voices in his head said someone was attempting to rape him. Then his mom walked in the house, according to a criminal complaint detailed in the Racine County Eye.

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3US WI: Column: Mills: It's Time To End The War On DrugsFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Mills, Emily Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2017

I grew up in the 1980s, back when the "Just Say No" campaign was in full swing. I remember being prepared to fend off relentless peer pressure to do drugs, evil strangers offering what was not actually candy, and so forth. Then I grew up, and almost none of the scenarios I'd been taught in D.A.R.E. ever really came to pass.

I still avoided drugs, mostly because of a combination of a good home life and an over-analytical brain. It wasn't as if drugs weren't around, though. I watched too many of my friends experiment with everything from speed to acid. No one ever pressured me to try it. It was simply there if you wanted to dive in.

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4US WI: Gov. Scott Walker Signs Bills Fighting Spread Of OpiatesMon, 17 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills Monday to combat the spread of opiates and was set to approve four more.

The 11 measures, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, would funnel more money into fighting opiates, tighten the ability to get some drugs from pharmacies and give doctors more guidance on treating addiction. They were passed in a special session the Republican governor called in January.

"We've taken serious steps to combat this issue, including creating the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse, but we won't stop until there are zero opioid overdoses in Wisconsin," Walker said in a statement.

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5US WI: Oped: Crowley: Legalize Marijuana To Combat Growing OpioidSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Crowley, David Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/21/2017

America's opioid epidemic is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. From 2000 to 2015, over half-a-million Americans died of opioid abuse and overdose. Ninety-one Americans die every single day for the same reasons.

While illegal drugs like heroin have contributed greatly to this epidemic, prescription opioids are the leading cause of overdose and death for Americans suffering from opioid addiction.

Since 1999, the amount of prescribed opioids in the United States has nearly quadrupled without a meaningful change in the actual amount of pain that Americans report to their doctors. In Wisconsin, the rate of opioid-related deaths has nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015, from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents to 10.7 deaths per 100,000.

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6US WI: 2 Milwaukee Men Charged In Killing Of Teen During MarijuanaTue, 11 Jul 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2017

Two Milwaukee men were charged Tuesday in connection with a shooting on the city's northwest side that killed a teenager late last month.

[name redacted], 21, and [name redacted], 34, were charged with first-degree reckless homicide, as party to a crime and use of a dangerous weapon in a shooting that killed Ramsey Wheeler, 19, on June 28.

A 21-year-old man who was injured during the shooting was identified as Wheeler's brother in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

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7 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Could Solve Many State ProblemsFri, 09 Jun 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:47 Added:06/13/2017

Thanks for the June 2 editorial, "Possession penalties are too harsh."

While any discussion about reforming Wisconsin's draconian marijuana laws is certainly welcome, decriminalization is an old idea that still leaves out a legal source for pot.

As your editorial noted, eight states have already legalized pot for adult use. More states are currently in the process. Our neighbors Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, which already have medical marijuana, are all exploring legalizing adult use.

Wisconsin is ready, too. The July 2016 Marquette Law School Poll found 59 percent favoring legal pot for adults. Wisconsinites also have long supported medical use by even higher margins. Yet failure to "get it done" has cost Wisconsin at lot.

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8 US WI: PUB LTE: Pot Referendum Should Be WelcomedMon, 30 Jan 2017
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:33 Added:02/04/2017

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, recently introduced legislation that would place an advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot asking state voters if they support legalizing medical cannabis.

In 2012, after Washington and Colorado voters passed initiatives legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press published an article looking at potential legalization in other states.

Wisconsin was included: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker said ... he's not interested in legalizing marijuana. The only way he sees it happening is if state residents approve the idea in a referendum similar to Colorado and Washington."

Walker has not weighed in on the advisory referendum proposal since it was introduced, but his 2012 comments to the AP certainly suggest he should welcome Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor's proposal to let voters decide.

Gary Storck, Madison


9US WI: Tittl, Lemahieu Talk Medical MarijuanaMon, 23 Jan 2017
Source:Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, WI) Author:Schafer, Alisa M. Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2017

MANITOWOC - A listening session hosted by State Rep. Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc, and Republican State Sen. Devin LeMahieu Monday was dominated by talks of legalizing medical marijuana.

Out of the 25 attendees to Monday's listening session, nine people voiced their support of legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Many cited mental health issues they believed would be better treated with cannabis oil than with pharmaceuticals. "It seems there is a numerous amount of people interested in passing medical marijuana in the State of Wisconsin," Tittl said. "I think it is to the point where we should have the conversation -- I'm not saying whether I am for it or against it -- but I think more information does need to come out on both sides."

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10 US WI: Editorial: Marijuana's Medical Benefits Can't Be IgnoredThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, WI) Author:Marlaire, Liam Area:Wisconsin Lines:93 Added:01/20/2017

Medical marijuana use should be legal in Wisconsin.

Twenty-eight states -- Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Ohio joined in November -- and the District of Columbia allow for such use. California was the first to legalize medical marijuana 11 years ago.

There are signs that Wisconsin may eventually adopt that stance. Although Republicans in the state often have opposed such measures, The Associated Press reported that state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, is circulating a bill that would make possessing a marijuana extract used to prevent seizures legal with a doctor's certification.

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11 US WI: PUB LTE: Gary Storck: 'Dr.' Scott Walker Needs Update OnSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Capital Times, The (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:50 Added:01/16/2017

Dear Editor: Gov. Scott Walker indicated in a recent interview that he believes the only medical use from the cannabis plant is limited to just one cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), and only for use for childhood seizure disorders that don't respond to conventional treatments.

Medical marijuana isn't needed according to "Dr." Walker, because "studies show medically there are much more viable alternatives within the health care community."

The health care community might beg to differ, having produced more than 22,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids. Marijuana has been studied more than 85-90 percent of prescription medications.

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12US WI: OPED: Brannon, Goldman: Shenanigans Cause Problems ForTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Brannon, Ike Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

It is time to take a second look at reforming the opioid market, starting with the regulatory environment.

[photo] Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman of Capital Policy Analytics argue that it's time to reform the opioid market, starting with the regulatory environment. Capital Policy Analytics is a Washington, D.C., based consulting firm that provides economic analysis to businesses regarding how government policies affect markets and the broader economy.(Photo: TNS)

Attorneys general from nearly every state and across the political spectrum agree that the makers of the drug Suboxone, a widely used treatment that reduces cravings for opiate addicts, violated state and federal antitrust laws.

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13US WI: Heroin Deaths In Milwaukee County Jump By 72%Mon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

The deadly toll of heroin, deemed a public health crisis by many officials in Wisconsin, isn't slowing down.

Heroin-related deaths in Milwaukee County skyrocketed by 72% last year compared with 2013, according to data released Wednesday by the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

In 2014, 119 people died from heroin-related overdoses, and for the second year in a row in Milwaukee County, heroin-related deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths, of which 74 occurred.

Heroin-related deaths also account for nearly half the 249 drug-related deaths investigated by the medical examiner's office. Several drug-related deaths from 2014 remain under investigation, but heroin has been ruled out as a contributing factor.

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14US WI: Federal, Local Officials To Target Opioid, Heroin AbuseMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

Federal and local authorities announced on Wednesday that Milwaukee has been chosen to take part in a new $2 million comprehensive strategy led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prevent opioid misuse, heroin abuse and violent crime.

The "360 Degree Strategy" will strengthen partnerships among health care professionals, social service organizations and government service agencies to provide long-term help and support to create drug-free communities, said Dennis A. Wichern, special agent in charge at the DEA's Chicago Field Division.

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15US WI: Soaring Drug Deaths Bring Search For AnswersMon, 09 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

In Milwaukee County, a record 299 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, outstripping the 255 total deaths in 2015, which was itself a record. That preliminary total does not include an estimated 45 suspected drug-related deaths that are awaiting toxicology results.

[photo] Alyssa Anderson, 24, died in March 2015 of a heroin overdose. She was one of 281 people who died from heroin statewide in 2015 and the death toll continued to climb in 2016.(Photo: Family photo)

Annette Renk remembers her daughter playing the violin and bass guitar, exploring nature and caring for her pets -- a cat, a snake and a tarantula.

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16US WI: Editorial: Walker's Leadership Key In Fight Against HeroinSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)          Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

Walker rightly noted that addressing the issue will stem a public health problem and help the state's economy.

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday called for a special legislative session to fight heroin addiction and ordered state agencies to ramp up their response to a drug that kills hundreds in Wisconsin each year.(Photo: Associated Press)

Gov. Scott Walker has it right: Heroin addiction is a public health crisis in Wisconsin, and state officials must ramp up efforts to respond more urgently and effectively to a killer that takes hundreds of lives each year. His leadership will be key in making that happen.

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17US WI: CDC Warns Of High Opioid Use By Women Of Childbearing AgeSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Fauber, John Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

Narcotic painkillers - which can cause birth defects - commonly were prescribed for women of reproductive age, according to new data presented Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research, which looked at the years 2008-2012, found that 39% of women ages 15 to 44 on Medicaid and 28% of those on private insurance received an opioid prescription.

"Many women of reproductive age are taking these medicines and may not know they are pregnant and therefore may be unknowingly exposing their unborn child," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

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18US WI Scott Walker Signs Bills Aimed At Fighting Wisconsin HeroinThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Marley, Patrick Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker signed seven bills Monday aimed at fighting the state's growing heroin problem during stops around the state.

The new laws include ones that will allow drug users to call 911 about overdoses without fear of prosecution, expand treatment alternatives and create quicker punishments for offenders who violate the terms of their probation.

Walker signed the bills at events in Marinette, Stevens Point, Eau Claire and Milwaukee. The Marinette County Courthouse was chosen as one venue because it is in the district ofstate Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), who has taken a lead in drafting the measures. Nygren's daughter Cassie has struggled with heroin addiction.

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19US WI: Assembly Unanimously Approves Bills To Fight Heroin AbuseThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stein, Jason Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

Madison - The state would expand the fight against heroin abuse and approve labor contracts with the few remaining state employee unions, under legislation unanimously passed by lawmakers Tuesday.

Without dissent, the Assembly approved the measures on drug abuse and sent them to the Senate, which is expected to take them up in the coming weeks. Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen support the measures.

If the heroin bills become law, users of the deadly drug would be immune from liability if they called 911 to report overdoses, and more first responders could carry drugs to counteract overdoses. People also would have to show identification when they pick up many prescriptions, and communities would be able to set up drug-disposal programs more easily.

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20US WI: Study Backs More Use In Wisconsin Of Life-SavingThu, 05 Jan 2017
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Luthern, Ashley Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

A drug that can stop a heroin overdose, and potentially save a life, is available in Wisconsin. One agency provides the doses at no cost.

But it's against the law for an individual with a prescription for naloxone, commonly known by its brand name Narcan, to use the drug on a friend or someone else overdosing on other opiates such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone.

A recent report from the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse has recommended a 911 Good Samaritan Law to state lawmakers that, among other provisions, would offer limited immunity in such cases.

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