Legalizing marijuana in Madison: just the beginning

Considering how many people would benefit from using cannabis in Wisconsin, many state leaders want to push for its legal use.

Decriminalization of marijuana would allow certain forms of drug possession and use without legal repercussions such as fines and jail time.

What decriminalization means

People opposing the decriminalization of drugs often express great concern about the growth of drug-related crimes. However, state leaders who have pushed for laws that would allow the legal use of marijuana have carefully weighed the consequences and put certain restrictions in place to reduce the risks of crime growth.

With the recent decriminalization of marijuana in Madison, the implementation of additional laws aims to keep drug possession and use from skyrocketing out of control. These laws include the following:

         Marijuana use is illegal for anyone in a moving vehicle

         Those in possession of marijuana must be at least 18-years-old

         Use of marijuana remains illegal within 1000 feet of any school or school bus

         Possession cannot exceed 28 grams

The strategy of decriminalization

Madison lawmakers encourage the state of Wisconsin to follow their lead in allowing legal use of marijuana. A potential benefit of drug decriminalization is an increase in tax revenue. Others believe that allowing drug use will help reduce inequality and institutionalized racism while improving trust between members of law enforcement and the community.

Another strategy centers around taking more of a mental health-based focus on drug problems rather than an incriminating and incarceration-heavy approach. For people suffering from drug addiction, the removal of criminal charges for drug use may enable them to get proper help. Often, drug addicts lack accessibility to critical remedial services and resources during incarceration which can only worsen their mental and physical well-being.

Source: 620WTMJ, “Madison decriminalizes use and possession of marijuana, asks state to follow,” Kevin Wells, Dec. 7, 2020