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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?
Yes but I have several questions about the implication of policies such as this.
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.
I have mixed feelings about this question. As someone who is incredibly sensitive to any smoke (including cigarette and even campfires in outdoor patios) I am hesitant to encourage any smoke in an area that may impact someone else’s health. However, you outline an important loophole that other states are encountering and I would want to work to make sure that loophole is closed in Wisconsin.
7. Do you support conviction expungement or pardons for anyone convicted of possession, growing, and/or selling cannabis in Wisconsin?
Yes! However, I do think it’s important to work with those who are currently incarcerated to make sure they have a plan before leaving the facility they are in. Reintegration is important piece to success for those who have been incarcerated and we must make sure to set people up for success not just open the doors and let them out.
8. Do you support or would you consider any other cannabis regulatory or legalization scheme for Wisconsin
I have heard (but am not overly familiar with) that Minnesota had a policy of decriminalization of cannabis. I don’t know if that was the first step for them to legalize it or if that is where they are at now but I think that may be something to explore especially if the Republicans have control in the 2019-2020 legislative session. It may be a good “half-step” towards legalization.
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?
Minimum level should be sales tax but we could explore if adding taxes (like with tobacco and alcohol) if it would mean broader support.
11. How do you think that tax revenue should be used?
I like the idea of adding it to the general funds, I’m not a big fan of having a certain tax go to a certain project because I believe that could cause problems for funding streams in the future.
12. Why is cannabis law reform an important issue to you?
I believe that our cannabis laws unfairly target something that is not as harmful to one’s health as some legal products such as tobacco but because of big tobacco and tobacco lobbying, we not only find it acceptable to sell products that have proven health consequences but have actually subsidized the industry in the past. I believe this double standard must end.
My biggest concern with legalization revolves around problems that sellers are having with depositing funds from the sale of cannabis into our banking system. I have heard that has been a problem around the country and something we would not be able to fix at a state level. I want to make sure that we are address that issues as a country soon and would do my best to put pressure on the federal government to make changes to fix that problem.