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61US WI: OPED: Ending Marijuana Prohibition Is Humane, SensibleFri, 17 Apr 2015
Source:Wausau Daily Herald (WI) Author:Maas, Jim Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:04/22/2015

Public, religious groups, law enforcement coalition support ending marijuana prohibition.

H.L. Mencken defined Puritanism as, "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." We may think that is something from the distant past but then we are reminded of it from time to time, even in 21st century Wisconsin.

Legislation which would end the prohibition of the use of cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) has been introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly. What has taken them so long to reform prohibition is a mystery. So far, 23 states and the District of Columbia permit the use of this herb with a doctor's prescription for medical use. A few states are treating cannabis more like alcohol.

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62US WI: High Court Upholds Man's Eviction Over PotFri, 13 Mar 2015
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Vielmetti, Bruce Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:03/15/2015

A 62-year-old Milwaukee man caught smoking marijuana in his federally subsidized apartment is not entitled to a second chance at keeping his home, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held Thursday.

In a 6-1 decision, the court agreed that a federal law preempts Wisconsin's five-day notice rule in evictions over criminal drug activity, and reversed a Court of Appeals ruling in favor of the tenant, Felton Cobb.

Cobb argued that he was entitled to promise not to smoke in the apartment again.

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63US WI: Does Law Open Door To Tribal Pot Operations?Sun, 08 Mar 2015
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Spivak, Cary Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:03/08/2015

Cannabidiol Rule, Federal Memo Raise Questions

In 1991, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the creation of the Wisconsin lottery meant Indian tribes here could open gaming halls on their reservations - a ruling that paved the way for the explosive growth of tribal casinos in the state.

Today, some tribal leaders are betting that legal lightning could strike again. This time they're hoping that lawmakers may have unintentionally opened the door for tribes to grow and sell marijuana last year when Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill legalizing a derivative of marijuana for limited medical use.

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64US WI: Tribal Official Considers Pot BusinessSat, 21 Feb 2015
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Spivak, Cary Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:02/21/2015

Menominee Legislator Says Research Must Be Done First

Now that the Menominee tribe's dream of opening a Kenosha casino has gone up in smoke, the tribe is looking for a new way to raise cash - growing marijuana.

Craig Corn, a tribal legislator, opened the door Friday to growing marijuana on the reservation near Shawano. In a tweet Corn sent out Friday, the former tribal chairman said: "Now we embark on a new economic endeavor, it is time to progress forward. We are gonna fast track a effort to legalize Marijuana."

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65US WI: Pot Fines Measure Spurs Racial Disparity DebateFri, 20 Feb 2015
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Stephenson, Crocker Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:02/20/2015

Panel Delays Action on Ordinance

A proposed ordinance that would all but eliminate fines for possessing a small amount of marijuana in Milwaukee sparked a debate Thursday about racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Study after study has shown that marijuana use among all ethnic groups is the same, Molly Collins, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, told members of the Common Council's Safety Committee.

"In Milwaukee County," she testified, "African-American people are 4.9 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and in the city of Milwaukee, it's about 5.48 times more likely."

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66 US WI: OPED: Legalizing Drugs Will Solve More Problems Than It CausesMon, 16 Feb 2015
Source:Daily Cardinal (U of WI, Madison, Edu) Author:Rin, Hae Area:Wisconsin Lines:105 Added:02/17/2015

The illegal drug market causes damage in many developing nations, but there are two countries with major drug booms: Afghanistan and Myanmar. Both countries have a long history of being ravaged by endless conflicts. Amid great confusion, the opium market has bloomed. In Afghanistan, many farmers carry massive debts from the drug traffickers after receiving their help during the start-up period. Unfortunately, most end up never being able to pay the money back as government raids often destroy the crops that were promised to the drug dealers as payment. If such unplanned obstacles appear, many farmers are trapped between two extreme solutions. They either give up their family to the drug dealers for collateral, or they have to flee their land. Both options are very dangerous, and many find themselves taken as hostages or killed. The government intervention of directly destroying the opium fields has turned out to be highly ineffective-farmers encounter desperate troubles that can only be solved through extreme means. The illegal drugs also help give power to militant groups such as the Taliban. They control the opium market and continue to strengthen from its profit. While the fields are getting destroyed, there are new fields created to make up the loss and the efforts of the government only victimize the poor. Therefore, the Afghan government is being ineffective in solving the problem.

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67 US WI: PUB LTE: Let's Include Rich In Drug-TestingTue, 10 Feb 2015
Source:Post-Crescent, The (Appleton, WI) Author:Zdrale, Jeff Area:Wisconsin Lines:30 Added:02/14/2015

It should apply to everyone who receives taxpayer funding.

The governor has proposed that people receiving state-funded benefits, such as FoodShare and W-2, be tested for illegal drug use.

But why limit this service to just these people? How about the corporate CEOs and boards that benefited from those financial "incentives" doled out by the Wisconsin Economic Development Council? These were taxpayer-funded, too.

If the governor doesn't want to chance "wasting" state money by supporting drug use by the poor, let's have him be fair and start scheduling urinalyses for the economic spectrum's upper end, also.

Jeff Zdrale,

Neenah

[end]

68US WI: Column: Let's Have Empathy For Drug UsersSun, 01 Feb 2015
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Mills, Emily Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:02/02/2015

We are a deeply punitive society. One misstep, one act of poor judgment, one stroke of bad luck or fate, and you could be marked for life, a pariah, someone with whom the rest of us "good people" want nothing to do.

Drug users are a prime example of this sad philosophy. The most recent manifestation of our collective attitude of non-forgiveness comes courtesy of Gov. Scott Walker's expected budget proposal to require drug tests for all FoodShare and BadgerCare applicants, as well as certain recipients of unemployment benefits.

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69 US WI: Fatal Overdoses Fall To Zero, But Needle Giveaways SkyrocketFri, 23 Jan 2015
Source:La Crosse Tribune (WI) Author:Jungen, Anne Area:Wisconsin Lines:65 Added:01/26/2015

La Crosse County leaders fighting the local heroin epidemic credit a life-saving drug with eliminating fatal overdoses.

No heroin users died in 2014, thanks in large part to the availability and skyrocketing use of Narcan, the antidote for an opiate overdose. Two people died in 2013 and five in 2012 of accidental heroin overdoses, La Crosse County Medical Examiner Tim Candahl said.

Nationally, heroin deaths surged 39 percent in 2013 in 8,260, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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70 US WI: PUB LTE: Pommer Strikes Out In Column On PolicingThu, 22 Jan 2015
Source:Janesville Gazette (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:52 Added:01/23/2015

If any journalist needs to stick to the facts, the "dean of the state Capitol correspondents," Matt Pommer, has a special need to be accurate.

But accuracy was sorely lacking in his recent opinion piece, "Community policing under fire in Madison."

Pommer notes that the Dane County Board rejected a federal grant, the "Cannabis Enforcement And Suppression Effort" (CEASE), but goes on to wrongly state "the grant provides money to fight heroin, other drugs and gun traffic."

Not true. The $5000 federal grant was solely for cannabis eradication.

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71 US WI: Heroin Spiking In Jackson CountySun, 18 Jan 2015
Source:La Crosse Tribune (WI) Author:Colson, Cassandra Area:Wisconsin Lines:139 Added:01/20/2015

BLACK RIVER FALLS - Authorities and community members are becoming increasingly concerned about the prevalence of heroin use and dealing in Jackson County.

Use of the highly addictive opiate is rising, based on drug investigations, arrests and other information provided to law enforcement, and its impact in local communities continues to expand, local authorities say.

"Overall, I believe that heroin is having an effect in Jackson County because it is not just about recreational drug use. It is about a drug that many times takes lives because people buying and using the heroin don't know exactly what they are putting into their body," Jackson County Sheriff's Department Capt. Tim Nichols said.

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72 US WI: PUB LTE: Legalizing Drugs Might Stop MurdersTue, 13 Jan 2015
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Litweiler, Chuck Area:Wisconsin Lines:31 Added:01/15/2015

When we learn of the accidental murder of a baby by shooters intending to hit a rival drug dealer two doors away, it's time to think about what might be done to stop such madness.

Because one-issue gun advocates are willing to spend unlimited money to sway an election, we cannot regulate possession of firearms or ammunition. It may be time to carefully consider whether we can tamp down the greed that propels this violence. That means examining whether legalizing drugs would result in fewer deaths.

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73 US WI: PUB LTE: Bring Back Cannabis HearingsThu, 15 Jan 2015
Source:New Richmond News Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:77 Added:01/15/2015

To the Editor:

Your recent editorial, "Our View: Not everyone is on board with marijuana enforcement," raises some very valid points.

When President Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs in 1970, marijuana prohibition was a new thing. But 45 years later it has become an industry. We have become so conditioned to the negative indoctrination of almost five decades of anti-pot propaganda that we often blindly accept it.

In 1997 President Bill Clinton, responding to the legalization of medical cannabis in California, commissioned the Institute of Medicine Report on medical cannabis. This federal report was released in March 1999, and although heavily politicized, still acknowledged that cannabis had great medical value. It also debunked the so-called "gateway theory."

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74 US WI: PUB LTE: What Scott Walker And Marijuana Have In CommonThu, 13 Nov 2014
Source:Capital Times, The (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:44 Added:11/14/2014

Dear Editor: Republicans had a great election Nov. 4, but so did marijuana legalization.

Florida's Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical cannabis, drew 57.6 percent of the vote, a little short of the required 60 percent. Despite falling short, it still drew a half million more votes than Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Alaska's Measure 2, legalizing adult use of cannabis, won with 52.15 percent, just a shade less than Scott Walker's 52.29 percent in Wisconsin.

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75US WI: Column: Doobie-Ous Ads Light Up Governor RaceMon, 03 Nov 2014
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Bice, Daniel Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:11/05/2014

In a governor's race full of twists and turns, it has now come to this:

A national conservative group - a Super PAC supported by the Koch brothers in the past - is lighting up social media with nine light-hearted ads promoting the Libertarian candidate for governor, Robert Burke, because he wants to legalize marijuana.

The videos almost immediately stoked concerns within Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's camp that this was a cynical Republican ploy meant to peel off young voters or confuse people. Five of the nine marijuana ads attack Mary Burke, who is opposing GOP Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday.

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76 US WI: No Charges For Couple Found With PotWed, 29 Oct 2014
Source:Baraboo News Republic (WI) Author:Onheiber, Elizabeth Area:Wisconsin Lines:90 Added:11/01/2014

A Madison couple investigated for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Baraboo will not be charged with a crime for possessing the controlled substance.

The Baraboo Police Department and City Attorney Mark Reitz declined to prosecute the offenses and found the couple provided authorities with valid Wisconsin medical marijuana prescriptions.

While investigating a complaint about a dog left in the vehicle of Greg and Karen Kinsley on Sept. 13 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds, Baraboo Police Sgt. Mark Lee and Det. Jeremy Drexler spotted a marijuana pipe through the car window. The officers confiscated it along with a small amount of marijuana after resolving the pet issue.

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77US WI: OPED: It's Time for Legalization of MarijuanaSat, 25 Oct 2014
Source:Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI) Author:Burke, Robert Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:10/25/2014

My name is Robert Burke and I am a Libertarian running for governor of Wisconsin. Our state and nation are at an inflection point of change, both social and economic, unrivaled in history. Wisconsin will need a leader for a 21st century economy, and I would like to share my vision for one small part. It's time for legalization of marijuana, and I'd like to share why.

In my youth, I worked as a certified nursing assistant in both a nursing home and a hospital. Our CNA's care in very intimate ways for the most vulnerable of our society. I remember caring for a doctor's wife with Alzheimer's. I remember meeting my first patient with Multiple Sclerosis and learning how it shuts down and wastes away the body. I remember meeting my 3-month-old niece as she had seizures every few minutes. I remember breaking down in tears in the hospital linen closet after floating to the Oncology department and meeting a mother and her children as she fought cervical cancer.

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78 US WI: PUB LTE: Drug Test for Benefits ImmoralSun, 12 Oct 2014
Source:Post-Crescent, The (Appleton, WI) Author:Robles, Philicia Area:Wisconsin Lines:54 Added:10/12/2014

New Law Would Only Make People More Desperate, Leading to More Crime

If re-elected Gov. Scott Walker will push for legislation requiring mandatory drug testing for unemployment and SNAP benefits.

It's a cognitive dissonance at best and a willful evil at worst to attempt to force social responsibility and morality through a socially irresponsible and immoral tactic.

This wholesale denial of benefits to people belies the complexities inherent in drug use and addiction, ranging from socioeconomic and environmental factors to issues of mental health and genetic propensity for addictive tendencies -- notwithstanding that those who receive unemployment benefits do so because they have paid into that system, as any other employed person has.

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79 US WI: PUB LTE: Billboard One Step To Persuade Legislators On Medical MarijuanaFri, 03 Oct 2014
Source:Capital Times, The (WI) Author:Storck, Gary Area:Wisconsin Lines:57 Added:10/08/2014

Dear Editor: Despite popular support, medical cannabis has had a rough time gaining traction at the Capitol. Early in 2014, both houses unanimously passed a hastily and poorly drafted restrictive medical marijuana bill that required federal approval to use an extract containing only cannabidiol, one of the 60-plus cannabinoids in whole-plant cannabis. Not one patient has gained access under the new law.

After this debacle, state medical marijuana advocates came together to find a new way. A grass-roots campaign was created and raised $7,500 for a billboard to call out opponents and create more public awareness and support for passing comprehensive legislation like the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act.

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80 US WI: Edu: Madison Police Chief Supports Marijuana LegalizationMon, 22 Sep 2014
Source:Badger Herald (U of WI, Madison, WI Edu) Author:McKay, David Area:Wisconsin Lines:101 Added:09/25/2014

Citing a history of inefficient enforcement and racial disparities, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said he supports the idea of legalizing marijuana.

As some serious drug issues are rising in Madison, such as a surge in heroin-related crimes, Koval said he would rather see his force's energy go toward solving those rather than continuing to pursue controlling marijuana crimes.

"Frankly, I've reached that threshold in my professional career, where I realize that the enforcement efforts have proven largely unsuccessful," Koval said. "It just didn't work. It wasn't effective."

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