Monona direct legislation campaign gets media spotlight

On June 16, Madison NORML’s campaign to reduce city of Monona pot fines to $1.00 plus costs received its first significant burst of media coverage with a front-page article in then latest edition of Monona’s weekly Herald-Independent. The full article, “Marijuana supporters pushing for binding referendum,” can be found here.

Look for this banner next to the table across from the Monona Public Library to sign! You must be a Monona resident over 18. (Source: Madison NORML)
Look for this banner to sign! You must be a Monona resident over 18. (Source: Madison NORML)

Channel3000 also followed up with its own report the same day, “Group wants Monona referendum on reducing pot fine to $1,” and plans to do further coverage this weekend.

Here’s part of the Herald-Independent report:

Members of Madison NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), led by President Nate Petreman of Monona, are collecting signatures to force the issue to a binding direct legislation referendum on the November ballot. In addition to the $1 fine, the legislation would make possession of marijuana the lowest priority for Monona police.

“Our goal is to collect 1,200 signatures, and we have until July 13 to do,” Petreman said. “We’ve been set up at a few places in the city, and we’ve been going door to door as well. We’re doing very well right now.”

State law requires that for a direct legislation referendum to occur, supporters must collect signatures equal to 15 percent of the number of those voting in the last gubernatorial election. For this effort, that magic number is 719, but Petreman said he doesn’t want to leave any room for doubt when the signatures get turned in to the city clerk and are verified.

Channel3000’s report referenced Madison NORML’s Monona campaign Facebook page: “Monona “Binding Direct Legislation” for Marijuana Possession to be $1.”

Channel3000 also reported how the campaign came about:

The group said that this is in response to a recent vote by the Monona Public Safety Commission rejecting a proposal to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

“This came despite overwhelming support by Monona voters for Dane County advisory referendums on legalizing medical cannabis in 2010 and legalizing adult use in 2014,” the group wrote.

Madison NORML President Nate Petreman of Monona told News 3, “This the last step we can take to affect this change directly.”

Monona "Binding Direct Legislation" signature collection "special location" Sunday at 12 PM - 4 PM Snicks Sportsmans Bar 4605 Monona Dr, Madison, Wisconsin 53716. (Source: Madison NORML)
Monona “Binding Direct Legislation” signature collection “special location” Sunday at 12 PM – 4 PM Snicks Sportsmans Bar 4605 Monona Dr, Madison, Wisconsin 53716. (Source: Madison NORML)

Madison NORML, which has mailed out over 5000 campaign flyers to Monona residents,  will be out again this weekend in Monona gathering more signatures. This Sunday, June 19, the group will offer a drive-through option for Monona residents to sign the direct legislation petitions and has set up a Facebook event page: Monona “Binding Direct Legislation” signature collection “special location”. Monona residents interested in signing should head over to Snicks Sportsman’s Bar 4605 Monona Dr, Madison, Wisconsin 53716 from 12 PM – 4 PM this Sunday June 19. The 60-day campaign is set to end Wed. July 13. To make a donation to support the campaign, visit the donate link in the lower left hand corner of this page on the Madison NORML website.



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