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Senate District 31
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1. Do you support a legal, regulated, and taxed market for recreational cannabis, allowing Wisconsin residents over the age of 21 to purchase and possess up to two ounces (or more) of cannabis from regulated dispensaries, as proposed by State Rep. Melissa Sargent’s (D-Madison) AB482?
2. Do you support allowing any Wisconsin resident over the age of 21 to grow up to 6 (or more) cannabis plants at home without a license, as proposed by AB482?
3. Do you support allowing patients suffering from various ailments to purchase and use cannabis as treatment for their ailments if they have a doctor’s recommendation?
4. Do you agree with the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis outlined in Section 42 of AB482 (listed below)?
(2) "Debilitating medical condition or treatment" means any of the following: (a) Cancer; glaucoma; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; a positive test for the presence of HIV, antigen or nonantigenic products of HIV, or an antibody to HIV; Crohn's disease; a hepatitis C virus infection; Alzheimer's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; nail patella syndrome; Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; post-traumatic stress disorder; or the treatment of these conditions. (b) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of such a disease or condition that causes cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis. (c) Any other medical condition or any other treatment for a medical condition designated as a debilitating medical condition or treatment in rules promulgated by the department of health services under s. 50.81 (2).
5. Answer this question only if you support both recreational and medicinal uses of cannabis. Do you support allowing medical cannabis patients to possess more cannabis than recreational users and to be exempt from the taxes that are imposed on recreational users?
6. Do you support a permitting system that would enable publicly-accessible establishments to allow legal possessors of cannabis to smoke it in outdoor areas at their establishments? This would address an issue present in other states’ implementations, where many people are legally allowed to purchase and possess cannabis, but have no place to legally consume it.
Yes. Our Smoke-Free Wisconsin law (which I supported and voted for in 2009 while in the Assembly) bans any smoking in enclosed spaces but does not apply to completely outdoor spaces. I see no reason why any legal substance wouldn’t be treated equally.
7. Do you support conviction expungement or pardons for anyone convicted of possession, growing, and/or selling cannabis in Wisconsin?
8. Do you support or would you consider any other cannabis regulatory or legalization scheme for Wisconsin
The truth is, I am not a smoker and don’t care for smoke. But my thoughts are that we celebrate drinking alcohol (especially in Wisconsin) and still allow tobacco sales and use. Why do we treat marijuana differently?
9. Do you believe that possession of limited amounts of cannabis by a person in his or her own home or in another’s home with the owner’s permission should be legal in the State of Wisconsin?
10. What level of taxes do you think should be imposed on recreational cannabis?
I understand that taxes should cover the regulatory structure and enforcement mechanisms, while at the same time however, they should not be so overly burdensome that they encourage individuals to continue buying cannabis through the black market. Politicians have not had the courage to stand up to the Tavern League ad raise taxes on beer and alcohol for over 40 years; recreational marijuana should be treated equally.
11. How do you think that tax revenue should be used?
Really good question. I would guess that there will be costs that I do not understand yet and that should be first on the list. There should also be education/marketing about responsible use that it could be used for. It may be wise to be flexible until we know what the amount will be.
12. Why is cannabis law reform an important issue to you?
Our prisons are unjustifiably filled. While I have never been interested in smoking, I have been a consumer of beer and I think it makes no sense to me that we criminalize folks who make the choice to use marijuana while we glamorize the more damaging use of alcohol.