Immigration aside, if there's one topic that tends to incite contentious debate in Wisconsin and throughout the nation, it is cannabis. Some agree with the U.S. government that marijuana should always be classified as an illegal drug. Others believe the opposite: that it never should be categorized as such but should be 100 percent decriminalized, even for recreational use. Then there are those whose opinions fall somewhere in between, thinking perhaps that certain uses of the cannabis, such as those that are medicinal, are acceptable but should be strictly regulated.
Recent polls show that nearly 60 percent of Wisconsinites believe marijuana should be legal in this state. The same percentage of people also say they favor some sort of state regulations similar to those now in place for alcohol. One state representative has been spearheading an effort since 2014 to get the bill she introduced passed through the legislature.
Melissa Sargent, a state representative from Madison, says when she first introduced the bill, the general populous was afraid to voice its opinion in favor of her proposed legislation but many people would approach her quietly and indicate their approval. Nowadays, she says, things have changed and more people are openly discussing the issue, with most in favor of marijuana legalization. Governor Scott Walker, however, has been staunchly opposed to even medicinal use of the drug.
Time will tell if Wisconsin will one day adopt similar laws as Colorado, Washington and many other states that have entirely legalized marijuana. As it stands, it is still federally classified as an illegal controlled substance and all uses of cannabis remain illegal in this state as well. Anyone facing criminal charges because of a marijuana-related situation may seek support by discussing the issue with an experienced criminal defense attorney.