Wisconsin, (Pontiac) – Left-leaning Wisconsinites are currently in a state of shock, and even disgust or shame at their state going red in the election. However, those same leftist, liberal, or progressive citizens can rejoice at new shifts in opinions on cannabis. Wisconsin, a state with a republican governor, is becoming ever more accepting of the controversial herb.
According to (WPR) Wisconsin Public Radio, 59% of Wisconsinites said they agreed with legalization in a recent survey. The analysis was conducted by Marquette University, showing even republicans are going green. Such revelations come as headlines circulate boasting weed, not Trump, as the true “winner” of the election.
Recreational and medical cannabis was voted on and passed in several states this fall. It was a much-anticipated event which was overshadowed by the dramas of this election cycle. With California and others now more open to cannabis–minus Arizona–the scales could tip federally in the near future.
The DEA teased cannabis advocates for months regarding a possible rescheduling of the substance. At its current schedule one position, it’s not only considered as dangerous as opioids, but research on it is highly restricted. DEA’s leadership went back and forth between sympathizing with the public, and decades old invalidated rhetoric. Though still less than half, 42% of Wisconsin’s republicans reject that anti-cannabis rhetoric perpetuated by DEA.
“I think it’s a positive step”, says treasurer and co-founder of the NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Jay Selthofner. “It shows that the times are changing and definitely gives patients and providers in the medical market hope that at least we’ll see a medical marijuana law in Wisconsin shortly.”
This article’s author is a Wisconsin resident, and wrote an article months ago aimed directly at Scott Walker. It’s thesis centered around the socio-economic benefits that Milwaukee, Wisconsin desperately needs from cannabis reform.
Not only is Milwaukee the fourth poorest American city, and also one of the most segregated. Wisconsin, as a whole, incarcerates more African Americans than any other state in the prison nation. It’s to the point where specific zip codes are known harvest zones for the incarceration of young men. It’s compounded when those forced into those positions are relegated and rejected by their government, or society. Gang violence, though an issue in and of itself, is fueled by lack of opportunity, and a beefy black market.
Legalization disempowers that black market. It also opens the doors for a down scaling in arrests, while also economically stimulating Milwaukee. Links to the article were sent to Walkers son’s over Facebook shortly after publication. The governor, whose policies pander to the monetized elite, didn’t respond.
Some law enforcement officials are responding to the notion of legalization, however. Chief of Madison PD Mike Koval, Journal Times reports, has even suggested using money from cannabis legalization to fund drug treatment. Koval joins a growing number of police who are beginning to reshape their role in drug policy and abuse.
America, and especially Wimarket and Milwaukee, is suffering a crisis with drug overdose deaths. Many of the victims were opioid addicts gripped by heroin, cocaine in its various forms, fentanyl, oxycontin and others. Milwaukee officials created a report of 888 overdose deaths which occurred from 2005-2015, a 495% increase. Suburbs like Wauwatosa, where heroin overdoses and crack cocaine have been reported, aren’t safe.
Legalization not only trends to cannabis, but also other drugs which are currently illegal. With heroin and drug addiction, for example, it can lead us away from arresting these people and towards treating them. That kind of change only occurs once public opinion shifts, and that’s getting started in Wisconsin.
Chief Koval brought up another interesting point, that you don’t need to “endorse” pot to agree with legalization. Admitting to the destruction prohibition has wrought, and wanting to change it, doesn’t make you a long-haired reefer tooter. On the contrary, it makes you part of a sizable majority not only in your state but the country.