WISCONSIN: Days after I wrote an article describing the reluctance of many legislators — including critics of the drug war — to embrace legalization of marijuana, state Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, introduced a bill to do exactly that.
The freshman legislator from the north side believes legalization is inevitable, but acknowledges her bill is unlikely to gain the support necessary to pass in the near future.
“I don’t believe it’s going to pass this session but this is a big conversation that needs to happen in our community,” she said. “I am at the beginning of my career in this building and I’m looking forward to seeing this through.”
Indeed, a recent poll showed that roughly half of Wisconsin voters favor legalization.
Sargent said she came to support legalization after extensive research on the subject, which convinced her that marijuana was less dangerous than many legal substances, including tobacco and alcohol, and that the prosecution of pot-related offenses is a waste of money that disproportionately harms people of color.