WBAYWinnebago County -

Wisconsin-Hemp-Leaf-State Wisconsin

A group in the Fox Valley is working to educate the public as it explores the legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin.

An open forum on legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin is taking place Wednesday night at the Oshkosh Public Library.

Jay Selthofner from NORML is one of the panelists.

He says in addition to jobs that could be created in the agricultural sector, medicinal marijuana would benefit the chronically ill and disabled, and the decriminalization of it would take stress off the judicial system.

“If we look at it to alcohol and nicotine, the model of Prohibition does not work in Wisconsin and does not work in the U.S.,” Selthofner says, “so a different model rather than prohibition would be some sort of legalization/regulation, would be much more advantageous for us as a state.”

Tracy Christensen is a clinical therapist with ThedaCare behavioral health. She sees firsthand the effects of addiction.

According to Christensen, “With any use of any substance it can, initially people may get positive effects but it can definitely cause medical problems.”

And local police say legalizing marijuana just adds another problem to the street.

“The majority of our crimes in the county are tied to drug use, and we battle a huge problem with OWI’s. Legalizing marijuana just throws a whole other issue into that OWI enforcement,” says Officer Jason Weber from the Town of Menasha Police Department.

But advocates for the legalization of marijuana say that isn’t the case at all. In fact, it’s their belief if marijuana were legalized there wouldn’t be as many issues.

Selthofner says, “If we gave people a safe choice than alcohol and nicotine — and we firmly believe that marijuana is the safer choice — it is going to reduce those other things across the state the we’re concerned about.”

There are no proposals currently in the Wisconsin Legislature to legalize marijuana.

Comments are closed.