Support Marijuana Referendum Tonight!

Posted January 9th, 2014 @ 4:20 AM by

In our liberal, allegedly progressive community, this should be a no-brainer, right? Think again, questions about if they should ask the voters what they think have been raised. Gasp! Ask the voters what they think?

I don’t care what you think about marijuana, shouldn’t voters be able to weigh in? I personally would vote yes, if given the chance, but don’t think we should be denied the opportunity. Here’s an action alert from Progressive Dane on the issue.

Right now, the County is considering a proposed referendum for the Spring ballot asking voters whether they think Wisconsin should legalize marijuana (see below for the full text). Up until now, it appeared that the referendum would be approved by the County Board with relative ease, but now the ballot issue has come under political attack and we need your help in order to ensure that voters in Dane County have a chance to voice their opinion on the matter in April.

On Thursday at 7pm in room 201 of the City/County Building (210 MLK Blvd), the County Board will be voting on whether or not to place this item on the ballot. In order to push through the politics and inside baseball, we need to demonstrate broad, grassroots support on this issue. To do this, we are asking people to show up to either testify or register in support on the issue.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, please reply to this email so that we can get a general idea of how many people to expect. If you aren’t able to attend, but want to get involved, you can contact the County Board(county_board_recipients@co.dane.wi.us) and explain why you think this issue is so important (be sure to include your address so that the Supervisors know whose district you are in).

I don’t think I need to sell anyone on the importance of this issue and ending the war on drugs, but here are just a few reasons why this referendum is so important:- Criminalization is expensive, with Wisconsin spending an increasing amount on law enforcement. This eats away at resources that could be going to human services.
- Wisconsin is the 5th worst state when it comes to racial disparities in Marijuana arrests
- Marijuana poses no greater health risks than Alcohol or Tobacco
- Medical marijuana has been shown to possess benefits for patients suffering from certain ailments; criminalization limits access to medical uses.

Thanks for all of your work!

Matt Kozlowski
Treasurer
Progressive Dane

Referendum Text:

RES. 213, 13-14

REFERENDUM ON STATE MARIJUANA POLICY

Current law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and delivery of marijuana and the possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver it. Additionally, current law prohibits a person from possessing or attempting to possess marijuana. Depending on the amount of marijuana involved, an individual may face fines and potential imprisonment for violating the law.

During the 2013 Federal legislative session, a bill was introduced to end federal prohibition of marijuana. House Resolution 499 (H.R. 499) has numerous sponsors, including Dane County’s Congressional representative. In addition, the ending of federal prohibition allows state laws regarding medical and recreational use of marijuana to take effect without federal interference. Twenty-four states across the country have enacted laws that either legalized medical marijuana, decriminalized marijuana possession, or both. In addition, two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized marijuana. Dane County has already voted in
favor of medical marijuana via referendum by over 75%. It is entirely likely that the state of Wisconsin may look into revising its own policy on marijuana in the near future.

In light of the growing number of states taking action, Dane County voters should have the opportunity to voice their opinion via a referendum. Such action will hopefully inform Dane County’s state and federal delegation on upcoming policy decisions related to marijuana.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dane County Board of Supervisors places the
following advisory referendum on the ballot for the April 2014 election:

“Should the state government enact legislation legalizing marijuana?”

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Dane County Clerk shall take all necessary steps to implement
this resolution.

Submitted by Supervisors Pan, Richmond, Matano, Wegleitner, Stubbs, Rusk, Pertl, Myles, Hendrick, Kolar, McCarville, Erickson, Schmidt, Salov, Solberg, Sargent and Hesselbein, December 5, 2013. Referred to EXECUTIVE.

Don’t worry about contacting anyone if you can show up, just show up. Can’t show up, email the supervisors. If you do show up, you can register in support, better yet, register in support and stay to fill the galleries while they vote and discuss it – remind them that some people are still paying attention to what they do. Speak if you feel inclined, if too many people speak, they get annoyed, but if you have something to say, don’t let that stop you please.

Also, I should note, that one of the PD members who responded to this had a good point: “The statement, “Marijuana poses no greater health risks than Alcohol or Tobacco,” is inaccurate. Marijuana poses significantly less health risk than either alcohol or tobacco. Legalizing marijuana would also reintroduce agricultural hemp for a wide variety of uses like food, cloth, and paper to name just a few.”

Kinda made me laugh, recently there were some joke news stories going around the internet about how 37 people died from drug overdoses the first day Colorado was able to sell legal marijuana and some people actually believed it. I’ve never heard of a marijuana overdose. Tho (ok people, this is a joke) a few heart attacks from the prices since the demand is so high.

Email your supervisors, let them know this is a no-brainer, remind them voters exist and do care about what goes on in county government – despite the fact that 30 of the 37 don’t have to run a campaign this spring.


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