An October 27 article in the Door County Pulse by Jim Lundstrom, “Kitchens Listens: Manure, Marijuana and Mining,” discussed a listening session Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) held at Algoma’s City Hall Oct. 16. An attendee asked Kitchens about AB482, the cannabis legalization bill introduced by Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison):
“The Oct. 16 Algoma session began with a middle-aged man in the front row asking Kitchens about Assembly Bill 482, a Democratic initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana, allowing a resident who is at least 21 to possess no more than two ounces of marijuana (that goes to a quarter-ounce for non-residents). The bill also creates a process for a person to obtain a permit to produce, process or sell marijuana for recreational use and pay an excise tax for the privilege of doing business in the state.
“To be honest with you, it won’t make it out of committee,” Kitchens said.
“Why not?” the man asked.
“There’s just a lot of opposition,” Kitchens said.
Why so much opposition if two-thirds of the state wants it legal, the man asked. For the record, the most recent survey available appears to be a July 2016 Marquette Law School poll with 59 percent of respondents supporting legalization.
Kitchens explained as long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, Wisconsin can’t legalize, no matter what other states have done. He said it needs to be resolved by the feds first.
“The political reality is that there’s a lot of opposition to it and it’s not going to happen in Wisconsin any time soon,” Kitchens said, adding that he believed there would never be a vote on it in his lifetime.
“Industrial hemp will be legalized,” Kitchens said. “That’s going through right now, I believe.”
Rep. Kitchens responses sent me right to my computer where I typed up this letter to the editor which was published Nov. 3 by the Pulse:
(CLICK IMAGE TO READ LETTER ON DOOR COUNTY PULSE SITE)