Wisconsin split on decriminalizing marijuana

He calls marijuana a gateway drug to harder substances, saying “it’s a big jump between someone having a beer and smoking marijuana.” And his fellow Republicans who control the state Legislature maintain there is not enough support among their ranks for changing the law.

But that doesn’t mean the issue is not up for public debate in the Badger state. Rep. Melissa Sargent proposed bills in the state assembly during the last two sessions that would legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.

The Madison Democrat says she has never smoked pot, but believes decriminalizing it would reduce the burden on corrections by reducing arrests for possession of small amounts of the drug and increase tax revenue for the state. Sargent told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the war on drugs in this country has created “a lot of fear and hysteria.”

Sargent’s bill includes a twenty-five-percent excise tax, which...

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