Wisconsin legislators have introduced a new marijuana legalisation bill.

Spread the love

“The most hazardous aspect of cannabis is because it is illegal,” state lawmaker Melissa Agard remarked. “For far too long, opponents of legal cannabis have spread lies in order to terrify people.” Sen. Agard hopes to change that with a newly proposed bill that would legalise, tax, and regulate marijuana in Wisconsin.

The bill, introduced in the Wisconsin State Assembly by Rep. David Bowen, would legalise and make cannabis available to people 21 and older in the state. Residents were permitted to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. After being diagnosed by a physician, it would allow medicinal marijuana patients to obtain cannabis without paying taxes. The bill would also allow for the expungement of previous marijuana offences. Agard stated that realistic forecasts estimate new revenue for the state at least $165 million, with 60 percent of that amount allocated to reinvesting in local communities harmed by the War on Drugs.

This is not the first time Agard has submitted this bill; in the past, it was routinely defeated by the Republican legislature without even a public hearing. “In 2013, they warned me that writing this legislation would be the end of my career. They argued it was too severe, and the timing was off,” she stated in a speech introducing the law. “Today, it is safe to state that the landscape has shifted, and support has increased and continues to increase. It is safe to conclude that there was a paradigm change in both our country and the state of Wisconsin.”

Data that is reliable

Unlike Republican politicians, who have decided that Wisconsin cannot have safe and legal marijuana, Agard’s plan is based on factual evidence demonstrating how popular the measure is. According to a Marquette University poll conducted in 2019, 59 percent of Wisconsin voters approve recreational marijuana and 83 percent support medical marijuana. This merely confirms the results of Wisconsin’s 2018 advisory referendum on marijuana, in which a bipartisan coalition of nearly one million voters overwhelmingly approved the legalisation of both recreational and medical marijuana—70 percent of voters in Milwaukee County and 76 percent in Dane County voted for legal recreational weed, and up to 85 percent voted in favour of medical marijuana. “It is foolish for Republicans to refuse to enable Wisconsinites to speak on this issue,” Sen. Agard said.

Sen. Agard flew to South Beloit, Illinois, to promote her measure. Standing within a few yards from the Wisconsin state line. The Sunnyside cannabis shop, which opened as the largest cannabis retail facility in the state despite being located in a tiny town of 8,000 people, is representative of the tax money that are constantly flowing out of Wisconsin and into more modern states. Sen. highlighted that the dispensary’s parking lot was full with Wisconsin licence plates, and that the dispensary’s first sale was to a Wisconsin citizen.

South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl confessed that his town’s finances is dependent on Wisconsin’s failure to legalise marijuana. Governor Tony Evers quipped that he is “weary of talking to the Governor from Illinois” because Governor Pritzker of Illinois continues praising Evers “for having Wisconsinites cross the border to buy marijuana.” In the first half of 2021, out-of-state customers—mostly Wisconsinites who came to enjoy Illinois’ sensible cannabis policy—spent no less than $231 million on legal marijuana on the other side of the state line.

“Wisconsin is a prohibition island. Prohibition did not work for alcohol; it did not work for margarine; and it is not working for cannabis,” she said in front of the South Beloit marijuana retail store. “We urgently need to alter our state’s policies,” she added, adding that the current state of affairs in Wisconsin is “embarrassing.” This new legalisation initiative seeks to right that mistake by addressing racial discrepancies in how prohibition is enforced, assisting our farmers, freeing innocent criminals, and providing a significant economic benefit to the entire state.…

Read more

Marijuana use is now as common as cigarette smoking.

Spread the love

Marijuana use is now nearly as popular as smoking cigarettes in the United States. That’s according to a new Gallup poll, which revealed that 49% of Americans now admit to consuming marijuana. This is the highest percentage the organisation has ever recorded in more than 50 years of polling the public on cannabis use.

According to Gallup, only 4% of people had tried the substance more than 50 years ago. Between 1970 and 1985, the ratio grew to 30%, then remained in the 30s until 2015. After remaining stable for 30 years, the percentage of adults who have used marijuana has risen to about 50% in the previous six years.

It’s unclear if the number of marijuana users increased or if the shifting tides merely made existing users feel more comfortable confessing their usage. It’s also unknown how many marijuana users nowadays still lie about their use due to the stigma attached to the drug.

While lifetime cannabis usage appears to be increasing, reported regular marijuana use has been steady, ranging between 11 and 13 percent every year since Gallup began included it in its annual poll. In 2021, 12% of Americans, including 20% of Millennials, acknowledged to consuming marijuana on a regular basis.

Generational Differences in Cannabis

The poll discovered a generational divide among older Americans, dubbed “traditionalists” by Gallup, with 195 of them having used marijuana at least once. Approximately half of the rest of the population used marijuana. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) appear to have been unaffected by the legalisation of marijuana in many states, as their rates of use have remained consistent since the 1980s and 1990s, whereas Gen Xers (those born between 1965 and 1990) have increased their marijuana consumption in recent years. With a rate of consumption of 51 percent, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are the most cannabis-friendly generation.

Gallup’s research found that generations are resistant to modify their attitudes regarding cannabis. The number of traditionalists who have used marijuana has doubled since 1985, according to Gallup, but this “probably reflects the death of many of the oldest members of that group, who were significantly less likely to have tried marijuana than younger traditionalists.” Despite the fact that marijuana is now considerably more widely available and legal, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers saw little to no rise in marijuana use.

“With minimal change in generational rates of marijuana experimentation over time, the rise in the share of U.S. adults who have tried marijuana is primarily due to Millennials replacing older traditionalists in the adult population,” the report concludes.

Other distinctions, such as a gender divide, have been noticed. Men are roughly twice as likely to smoke marijuana on a regular basis as women. Only 3% of Americans who attend religious services on a weekly basis use marijuana on a regular basis, compared to 19% of non-churchgoers. As is to be expected, Democrats and non-affiliated progressives consume marijuana at up to four times the rate of Republicans.

“In recent decades, the number of Americans who have used marijuana has consistently risen,” Gallup finds. “It’s unlikely to go much higher than 50%, given that experimentation rates among Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have been consistent around 50%. Half of Millennials have smoked marijuana, and as many of them approach middle age, that number is unlikely to rise in the coming years.” The willingness of newer generations to try marijuana will influence how popular it becomes in the next years, as all present generations appear to experiment with marijuana up to 50% of the time before plateauing as the generation grows older and less receptive.

However, despite never having tried marijuana, a huge percentage of Americans want it to be legalised, according to this study. According to the most recent Gallup poll, at least 68 percent of the population supports full legalisation of marijuana. To summarise, it is not required to use marijuana or even have prior experience with it to support cannabis reform.…

Read more