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Madison Lawmaker Revives Push For Legal Pot In Wisconsin

Democratic Bill Expected To have Little Chance Of Advancing

Shawn Johnson/WPR

A Democratic state lawmaker from Madison has reintroduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in Wisconsin.

Rep. Melissa Sargent’s bill would legalize marijuana whether it’s used as medicine or for recreation. She said the current prohibition on marijuana only creates an underground market and drives up law enforcement costs.

“We’re putting millions of our taxpayers’ dollars into victimless crimes when we should be doing just the exact opposite. We should be creating revenue and letting our police officers focus on keeping peace,” Sargent said.

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Sargent’s bill would tax marijuana sales at 25 percent. People would have to be 21 to use it and they’d be prohibited from using it in public.

The plan is unlikely to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature, and last session, just seven Democrats signed on as sponsors. Four states, Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, currently have laws allowing recreational marijuana sales.