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.
[continues 460 words]
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.
[continues 642 words]
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
A 21-year-old man who was injured during the shooting was identified
as Wheeler's brother in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.
[continues 341 words]
Thanks for the June 2 editorial, "Possession penalties are too
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.
[continues 118 words]
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
Gary Storck, Madison
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."
[continues 247 words]
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.
[continues 451 words]
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
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.
[continues 170 words]
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:
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.
[continues 575 words]
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.
[continues 813 words]
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.
[continues 287 words]
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
[continues 1237 words]
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:
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.
[continues 422 words]
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.
[continues 710 words]
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
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.
[continues 318 words]
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
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.
[continues 810 words]
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.
[continues 957 words]
Madison- Doctors will have to check a statewide database before
prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs, under a broad series of
bills that Gov. Scott Walker signed Thursday to curb the abuse of heroin
and prescription painkillers.
"Wisconsin, like many other states across the country, is noticing a
dangerous trend - an escalating number of cases involving heroin and
opioid use, addiction, and overdose. The legislation we're signing into
law today as a part of our HOPE tour works to combat this trend," Walker
said in a statement.
[continues 569 words]
[photo] Gov. Scott Walker announced the creation of a state task force to
address the Wisconsin's troubling increase in opioid abuse at a Walgreens
pharmacy at 3522 W. Wisconsin Ave.(Photo: Maggie Angst / Milwaukee Journal
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.
The Republican governor held series of events Thursday in Weston, Green
Bay and Chippewa Falls to announce the special session and the executive
orders, which seek to implement recommendations from a report issued by
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette).
[continues 714 words]
WASHINGTON -- The DC Cannabis Coalition says it plans to hand out
thousands of joints of marijuana on Inauguration Day -- for free -- to
urge federal legalization of pot.
The group plans to start handing out joints at 8 a.m. Jan. 20 on the west
side of Dupont Circle in the nation's capital, where recreational
marijuana is legal. Then, marchers will walk to the National Mall where
the real protest will begin.
[continues 365 words]
A recommendation by state Rep. Joel Kleefisch would have parents request
their high school students be tested for illegal drugs.
Students drive out of the parking lot at the end of the school day at De
Pere High School on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Students who have parking
permits at the school are subjected to random drug testing throughout the
school year.(Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)
GREEN BAY - Rep. Joel Kleefisch had a ready response for lawmakers and
school administrators who were quick to speak out against a proposal late
last year for statewide random drug testing in high schools.
[continues 1701 words]
Twenty people have died of probable heroin overdoses in Milwaukee County
since July 27.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office says this is a photo of a
typical drug-overdose death scene.(Photo: Milwaukee County Medical
Examiner's Office, Milwaukee County Medical Examiner 's Office)
Twenty people have died of probable heroin overdoses in Milwaukee County
during the past two weeks, a toll the county medical examiner's office on
Thursday called "unprecedented."
The county typically averages one heroin death every three days, the
office said. The medical examiner is investigating the possibility that
other drugs, such as fentanyl, played a role in the deaths.
[continues 390 words]
Among the dozens of tragic stories of heroin abuse this year, one from
Oconomowoc may stand out.
A 15-year-old girl whose mother believes had never tried the drug
before died after trying what her ex-boyfriend told her was cocaine.
That was in July. Now a spray of pine boughs and red ribbons marks the
holidays at Erika Reiner's gravestone, etched with a panda bear and a
musical staff, as her parents struggle through her loss.
The boy, 17-year-old Seth Moretti, is in treatment at a state mental
hospital and facing charges of first-degree reckless homicide. If and
when doctors say he's stable enough to be released, he will move to
the Waukesha County Jail unless he posts $50,000 bail. If he's still
hospitalized, Moretti will appear by video at a Jan. 26 hearing.
[continues 210 words]
A police officer holds a bag of heroin confiscated as evidence on March 22
in Gloucester, Mass.(Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK)
Wisconsin's battle against heroin yielded more grim results in 2015.
The death toll rose for the ninth straight year, and the total of 281
deaths was triple the number killed by heroin in 2010. Meanwhile, the
number of total opioid deaths -- which includes heroin and prescription
opiates -- topped the number of Wisconsin traffic deaths for the third
[continues 1410 words]
Flood of fentanyl and heroin is straining budgets, putting police at
risk as drug networks spread
During an attempted drug-trafficking bust this spring on Chicago's
South Side, police Sgt. James Madden took off running after a young
man, chasing him into a darkened yard before losing the trail.
Sgt. Madden didn't know where he was going. That's because he
works for a sheriff's office 500 miles away, in the northwestern
corner of Wisconsin.
The officer's work doesn't normally take him so far from his home
of Superior, Wis., (population 27,000), but today's drug trade is
imposing unprecedented new burdens on small-town law enforcement. He
made the eight-hour drive to pursue a Chicagoan who allegedly traveled
to Superior to sell large quantities of a dangerous drug called
fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times as potent as heroin. is
supercharging the longstanding problem of drugs in small towns.
Police, forensic labs and prosecutors are struggling to identify and
safely intercept new narcotics that can sicken or kill anyone who
handles them, and to combat trafficking networks that sometimes extend
many hours away. Death rates from overdoses are now higher in rural
areas than in big cities, reversing a historical trend.
[continues 1970 words]
Much has changed in the cannabis world since Russ Feingold lost to
Ron Johnson in 2010.
Then, about 15 states had legalized medical cannabis, a number now at
25. Today, four states and Washington, D.C., have legalized adult
use. This November, at least three more will vote on medical, and
five more will vote on adult use.
Feingold's record has been thin. While cannabis activists extensively
advocated for his support, he never sponsored any bills.
The federal CARERS Act would make it easier for researchers to study
marijuana. It is sponsored by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey,
Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and has 19
cosponsors including U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison.
[continues 88 words]
The last sentence of Ann C. Pendleton's letter of July 11 posed a
question: "If marijuana can be legalized for recreational use, then
why are not other drugs being legalized for recreational use?"
("Marijuana is dangerous," Letters).
My immediate reaction: Are you kidding me? Just walk into any liquor
store and you have a much more dangerous drug of all sorts to choose
from. Pick your poison. Liquor and its use causes more deaths and
accidents than marijuana. There is just no argument.
[continues 146 words]
A majority of Wisconsinites want marijuana to be legal and regulated
like alcohol, a new poll shows.
Results were released Wednesday for the Marquette Law School Poll, a
leading measure of public opinion in the Badger State.
The poll asked registered voters: "When it comes to marijuana, some
people think that the drug should be fully legalized and regulated
like alcohol. Do you agree or disagree with that view?"
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they agreed, while 39 percent disagreed.
[continues 166 words]
Because Colorado has materially experienced some advantages by
legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use, one needs to
evaluate what the real disadvantages are.
To say "marijuana does not kill anyone" is unrealistic when the use of
marijuana many times leads to the use of heroin or other drugs that
end in death, like my 20-year-old nephew, or may be a danger to others.
Marijuana is a drug. Use it only for medicinal purposes. If marijuana
can be legalized for recreational use, then why are not other drugs
being legalized for recreational use?
Ann C. Pendleton
A marijuana advocacy group has revived an effort to drastically reduce
penalties for being caught with the drug in Monona.
Members of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) are circulating a petition that
supports reducing municipal fines for pot possession to $1 in hopes of
placing a binding referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Since mid-May, the group has gathered signatures to try to force action
under the state's direct legislation law after a similar ordinance
change was narrowly defeated by the city's Public Safety Commission
earlier this year.
[continues 492 words]
One answer to Wisconsin money woes is to simply legalize marijuana,
using Colorado as a model - legal, but controlled, taxed and sold for
medical and recreational use.
I am a native of Colorado and am marveling over the improvements
Colorado is getting from the "pot" tax. Even in my hometown Fort
Morgan, schools are getting computers and a new school is coming. The
state is booming.
Marijuana does not kill anyone and has helped many people cope with
several medical issues. Moreover, new medical uses are being tested
every day, such as for cancer, Alzheimer's and childhood seizures. As
a cancer survivor, I want the benefits of cannabis and other options
coming. The savings from policing funds can be used for research
instead and help out with our infrastructure needs.
[continues 86 words]
Surprise and disappointment have turned to a unique history-making
opportunity for a group of people wanting a $1 fine for possession of
marijuana in Monona.
Members of Madison NORML (National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws), led by President Nate Petreman of Monona, are
collecting signatures to force the issue to a binding direct
legislation referendum on the November ballot. In addition to the $1
fine, the legislation would make possession of marijuana the lowest
priority for Monona police.
[continues 376 words]
Another Marquette Law School poll is out. But once again, no
questions about cannabis legalization were asked. One has to go all
the way back to September 2014 for that.
Each time a poll is released, it gets massive media attention. The
issues raised by the poll trigger public discussion and shape the
state debate. By failing to include public opinions on cannabis,
Marquette is stifling debate. Is that for political reasons?
Wisconsinites are not oblivious to developments in other states.
Twenty-six states now have some sort of medical cannabis law,
including Louisiana, where a formerly symbolic law passed in 1978 was
recently amended to create a workable state medical cannabis program.
Wisconsin passed a similar law in 1982. In Alaska, Colorado, Oregon,
Washington State and Washington D.C., voters have legalized the adult
use of cannabis, and more states will be voting on medical and adult
use this November.
Here in Wisconsin the topic apparently has been declared taboo. This
represents a grave disservice to state voters. Professor Charles
Franklin and the Marquette Law School poll must do better if they
care about their mission.
- -- Gary Storck, Madison
They Find Trace of Marijuana Ingredient
Janet Fazen and her family run a vape shop in West Allis, but a
recent visit by police has left them feeling like dope dealers.
Officers seized their entire inventory of CBD liquid, which is said
to come from industrial hemp plants. "The original vape additive. Add
to your favorite liquid or vape alone," the package says.
Customers who buy it have told Fazen that it gives some relief from
pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety and other maladies. There is a trace of
THC, the ingredient that gives weed its buzz, but not enough to make
anyone high, she said. Minors are not allowed in the store without a parent.
[continues 692 words]
This is in response to Ernst-Ulrich Franzen's column of June 6 ("How
will we pay for roads?" Opinions).
He asks: "How will we pay for our roads?" and "What's the answer for
those crumbling roads and potholes and deteriorating bridges all around us?"
He might want to check with the state of Colorado, as it is swimming
in money these days. I'll bet it has no problem whatsoever paying for
road repairs, or any other issues that need fixing.
Wisconsin should wake up from its fuddy-duddy slumber and start
looking forward to the future. The answer is plain as day: legalize
recreational marijuana. Problem solved!
Audrey Yanke Waukesha
Probe Underway After Overdose Death at Oshkosh
State corrections officials think multiple inmates will be charged in
connection with alleged drug distribution within an Oshkosh prison
and the recent death of one inmate of an apparent drug overdose, records show.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported on the May 5 death of the
33-year-old inmate within a segregated unit at the Oshkosh
Correctional Institution. With investigations ongoing, officials at
the prison said they are withholding any reports on the death or any
potential probes into alleged drug distribution within the prison.
[continues 539 words]
I was recently scrolling the opinion pages of the Tomah Journal
online, and buried behind all of the really interesting stuff, I came
across another letter to the editor from Natalie Carlisle, the Drug
Free Communities coordinator and member of the Monroe County Safe
Community Coalition's Marijuana Workgroup.
I have no desire to take things personally on matters of public
policy. However, before the city of Tomah elected me to serve as
District 4 Tomah City Alderman, Ms. Carlisle and her coalition
mentioned my previous column calling for reform of Tomah's municipal
code in regard to the penalties for possession of marijuana within
the city limits. Therefore, in the interest of perpetuating a
necessary conversation and equality of information, I do feel it
necessary to highlight some of the worn out, tired propaganda and
misinformation that is used to try to justify the continued violation
of human rights in the form of arrests for a substance that is widely
understood to be less dangerous than alcohol.
[continues 801 words]
Deaths from drug overdose now outnumber gun deaths in the United
States. We should look at what got us into this situation.
In the 1990s, armed with the knowledge that nearly one-third of
Americans will experience chronic pain at some point in their lives,
and that 20% suffer from pain on a daily basis, Congress felt
compelled to act. It could not bear the fact that "pain" was costing
the country more than $125 billion a year. It went to work and
expeditiously named the 2000s as the "Decade of Pain Control and Research."
[continues 776 words]
In modern medicine, it is only common sense that an ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is well understood by
patients and doctors alike that it is much more effective and cheaper
to prevent a disease, or catch it in its early stages, than to treat
it once it has become a serious health risk.
Although there is now an overwhelming expert consensus that drug and
alcohol addiction are medical conditions, just like breast cancer or
diabetes, our approach to prevention has not caught up to the medical science.
[continues 537 words]
Campaigning for president in the liberal oasis of Madison, U.S. Sen.
Bernie Sanders of Vermont rose to the defense of marijuana.
Critical of the nation's war on drugs, Sanders said the lives of
millions of Americans have been "ruined" because they got a police
record for possessing marijuana.
"Today, under the federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is
listed in the same Schedule I as heroin. That is nuts," Sanders
declared March 26, 10 days before he defeated Hillary Clinton in
Wisconsin's Democratic primary.
[continues 694 words]
Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm has announced he is running
for re-election ("Milwaukee County DA Chisholm announces re-election
bid," April 19).
To kick off his campaign, he hosted a campaign fund-raising event on
April 20, or 4/20, a day heralded by the movement for reform of our
country's marijuana laws. Perhaps Chisholm can celebrate both his
campaign kickoff and 4/20 by announcing that his office will no
longer criminally prosecute marijuana possession cases or
distribution cases involving small amounts of marijuana.
[continues 249 words]
News reports on the rapidly rising use of Narcan by Wisconsin first
responders to revive people suffering opiate overdoses show the
state's opiate crisis is continuing to escalate. This comes despite
passage of many laws over the last two sessions intended to address
Wisconsin could address both the issue of opiate abuse and the huge
need for safer pain medications by passing state medical cannabis legislation.
In Maine, where medical cannabis was legalized by voters in 1999,
work has begun on adding "addiction to opiates and drugs derived from
chemical synthesis" to the list of qualifying conditions that may be
treated with medical cannabis.
[continues 90 words]
Dane County Pushing Municipalities to Lower Fines for Pot Possession
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has seen how possession of a small
amount of marijuana can affect families in vastly different ways.
"A young person would get charged with possession of marijuana, and
their family would be facing a fine of over $1,000; that obviously
comes down disproportionately on people living in poverty, and that
can really set them back," Parisi says. "Fines wouldn't get paid,
which would make it difficult or impossible for young people to get a job."
[continues 1048 words]
A sentencing hearing for a Portage woman charged with reckless
homicide overflowed with emotional testimony, culminating in a
decision in which the judge lamented the court being ill-equipped to
deal with such cases in the absence of a drug treatment court.
[name1 redacted], 27, of Portage, was accused of first-degree
reckless homicide as a party to a crime in connection with the August
death of [name2 redacted], 27, of Lodi.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office responded Aug. 18 to a Lodi-area
home for a death investigation.
[continues 885 words]
Assembly Speaker Says He'll Again Push Bill to Treat Seizures
Madison - Frustrated with last week's failure of a bill to help
children with chronic seizures, the head of the state Assembly said
he's going to push the proposal as soon as possible next session.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has described himself as a
former skeptic who's become a convert to the possibilities of
socalled CBD oil, a strictly controlled drug sometimes used to treat
severely epileptic children with few other medical options.
[continues 723 words]
Scott Fitzgerald had indicated he was in favor of a bill to help kids
prone to seizures get the medicine they need. So was a majority of
the state Senate. But the apparent support of the Senate majority
leader and his colleagues wasn't enough when three top Republicans -
Senate President Mary Lazich of New Berlin and Senators Duey Stroebel
of Cedarburg and Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa - blocked it.
So Fitzgerald derailed a floor vote on the legislation earlier this
week by scheduling a hearing on the bill and then canceling it. Bills
can't be brought to the floor if a hearing is pending. Fitzgerald
used the end around to protect his colleagues. Democrats countered by
attempting to take a two-thirds vote to override the rule, but
Fitzgerald quickly adjourned the Senate before a vote could be held.
[continues 253 words]
Online Voter Registration, Other Measures Approved
Madison- In a final marathon of voting, the Senate adjourned Tuesday
by sending Gov. Scott Walker a bill to allow people to register to
vote online and by blocking a proposal to make it easier for parents
to get a drug to treat child seizures.
Senators also approved a bill that would prevent up to $5 million in
property tax increases by public schools outside Milwaukee that lose
students to voucher schools.
Also Tuesday, the Senate passed a different version of a bill on
high-capacity wells than one the Assembly approved last month. That
appeared to kill the measure since the Assembly has already ended its
work for the year.
[continues 1039 words]
To the editor,
Gary Storck (Monona voters want marijuana to be legal, Mar. 3, 2016)
exposes another achievement of government-subsidized prohibitionist
discrimination in a country where the prevalence of discrimination is
undeniable. And make no mistake; bigots orchestrated cannabis
(marijuana) prohibition from the beginning as an act of racism, greed
and control. A sane or moral argument to force the black market to
continue regulating the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given
plant cannabis doesn't exist.
Stan White Dillon, Colo.
Thursday's letter "Listen to the people about marijuana" reminds me
how difficult it was for Colorado citizens to cleanse ourselves of
cannabis (marijuana) prohibition.
If it weren't for the initiative process, the sky would still be
falling in. Cannabis prohibitionists used every historically
discredited lie, half-truth and propaganda they could muster, and
then we voted. Like Colorado, the majority of Wisconsin citizens also
support ending cannabis prohibition. But without the initiative
process available to voters, government subsidized cannabis
prohibitionists will continue ignoring citizens.
A sane or moral reason does not exist to continue punishing and
caging responsible adults who use the relatively safe, extremely
popular, God-given plant as described on literally the very first
page of the Bible.
- -- Stan White, Dillon, Colorado
The Monona Public Safety Commission forgot two important things in
its flawed vote to not reduce pot fines.
In 2010 and 2014, the Dane County Board placed cannabis-related
advisory referendums on county ballots. In 2010, county voters
supported legalizing medical cannabis with 76 percent of the vote.
And in Monona, voters gave it an even larger edge with 78 percent in favor.
In April 2014, Dane County voted in favor of legalizing adult use of
cannabis with 65 percent support. Monona again exceeded the county
with 67 percent in favor.
[continues 85 words]