Rep. Melissa Sargent, a Democrat lawmaker from Madison, has taken steps to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin with the argument that it would reduce crime and improve the economy of the state. The bill was introduced on Monday. It sought to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Melissa argued that legalizing pot will not only boost revenue, but also create more employment opportunities.
While Melissa Sargent has taken a bold step to introduce the legislation, there is a bleak possibility that it would gain any traction, as Republicans control both chambers in Wisconsin and they are not very curious to support the measure. Currently, only Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the District of Columbia have allowed recreational marijuana, while 20 other U.S. states(in total, 24) have approved the use of medical marijuana.
“Some politicians have demonized the use of marijuana,” said Sargent. “But what is truly criminal is the money that Wisconsin is losing by not legalizing marijuana. Legalization is a solution that would increase freedom, prosperity and security for people throughout the state”, she added. She had moved a similar legislation last year too, but that failed to make any progress.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker too opposed the legislation, which was evident from an email from his Press Secretary. He strongly believes that marijuana acts as a gateway drug for other dangerous substances and can't be allowed to be legalized. In February 2014, he went on to say that people can behave sensibly while drinking beer and enjoy it, but the same won't be possible when they smoke weed.