Every state in the US seems to be considering if not actually passing some marijuana reform. In Washington and Colorado, adults can now legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. In a few dozen other states, patients with qualifying conditions can get access to medical pot. So, where does Wisconsin fall in all of this and how soon can we expect to see current marijuana laws fall? [Read more…]
In the sea of changing marijuana laws, Wisconsin has been noticeably quiet. There is no medical marijuana system in place here and marijuana has most certainly not been legalized. But this doesn’t mean momentum here isn’t growing. The latest bill to be introduced in the state legislature would allow for cannabis-derived strains to be used in the treatment of certain seizure disorders. This type of focused and very limited marijuana law could be the “in” needed to change the way our state thinks about and thereby legislates cannabis. [Read more…]
Marijuana laws are changing all across the country. Support for legalization or at least the lessening of marijuana penalties is at all-time highs. But in Wisconsin, the people seem far readier for such change than the lawmakers do.
According to The Capital Times, few of those in the legislature take marijuana legalization seriously in the state, feeling it’s a “wacky western idea that has no place in the heartland.” [Read more…]
States and locales across the country are loosening restrictions on marijuana. While Colorado and Washington have been the most aggressive and open—legalizing recreational marijuana altogether—other states and municipalities have lessened penalties or introduced legislation that would make it less of a risk to light up a joint. Here in Wisconsin, however, legislators are moving in the opposite direction. [Read more…]
Derek Williams died in the back of a Milwaukee Police squad car. As he struggled to breathe, two officers spent time in the vehicle. They heard him say he couldn’t breathe and they ignored him. He lost consciousness and they didn’t call for medical assistance until four minutes later. His breathing difficulties are thought to have stemmed from one of the officers kneeling into his back as he lay prone on the pavement. But according to state and now federal officials, the officers did nothing wrong. [Read more…]
Local outrage and national media attention may lead to positive changes within the ranks of the Milwaukee Police Department. According to the Journal Sentinel, the department announced changes to their existing search policy and an emphasis on existing standards that weren’t taken very seriously in years past. The changes will hopefully keep officers in check while potentially rebuilding some lost community trust. [Read more…]
Plea agreements are usually thought of as a compromise between the state (prosecutor) and the defendant (accused of a crime). They are a middle ground, where the defendant agrees to admit or partially admit to some or all of the charges against them in exchange for a lenient sentence or the dropping of some charges. Frequently, however, plea agreements undermine justice.
Many people, including a Milwaukee city alderman, are calling foul on a plea agreement made with still-current Milwaukee police officer Michael Vagnini. The issue of contention is that he was able to plead no contest to several different charges in exchange for avoiding convictions for sexual assault. [Read more…]
How would you define an ineffective law? One that doesn’t deliver the intended result, or perhaps one that costs more than it is worth? Perhaps an ineffective law is one that society doesn’t see a need for but the government keeps in place no matter the effects. In the Badger Herald, the student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin, a budding scholar looks at the state’s ineffective marijuana laws and asks these very questions. [Read more…]
The Journal Sentinel is reporting that prescriptions for narcotic painkillers like oxycodone and OxyContin are falling and one expert believes that this may signify the trend of increased prescription drug abuse as “turning a corner.” Unfortunately, the Sentinel report doesn’t look at what’s happening to those who are addicted to the powerful medications—are they simply quitting or are they turning to other means? [Read more…]
It’s another year and another chance for Wisconsin lawmakers to get marijuana policy right—or at least closer to right. This year advocates are pushing for the passage of the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, first brought before the state’s lawmakers in 2009. Now, supporters are hoping that growing acceptance of marijuana across the country will help push the legislation through. [Read more…]