Monona pot fine debate returns at Jan. 25 PSC meeting

Madison NORML activists and supporters are planning to gather at Monona City Hall January 25th for the monthly meeting of the Monona Public Safety Committee (PSC) to restart efforts to repeal or amend the city’s current cannabis possession ordinance.

Agenda item for Monona PSC cannabis fine discussion set for Jan. 25, 2017.

The goal is to get the Public Safety Committee to send a recommendation to the full City Council to repeal or at least enact a $1 fine for possession of cannabis and paraphernalia. NORML plans to have a good number of supporters in attendance and urges interested parties who support these goals to be there.

The initial proposal from a Monona resident and NORML member received a positive response at the January 2016 PSC meeting. But at the following meeting in Feb. 2016, a small group of highly vocal cannabis opponents hijacked the discussion, with the PSC then narrowly voting 5-4 to table the proposed changes. This is why supporters need to pack the room this time. The Feb. PSC debate became so heated a former alder and PSC member sent an email to the PSC chair apologizing for “bullying” him during the raucous discussion.

Madison NORML then launched a 60-day campaign in the summer of 2016 to collect the 700+ signatures needed to put pot law changes before city voters but came up a little short of the needed amount. If Monona officials again reject changing the ordinance, NORML says it is prepared to go back to Monona voters with a new signature campaign, and the group says they are far better positioned to go that route again if left with no other choice.

Who: City of Monona residents and cannabis law reform supporters
What: Monona Public Safety Commission meeting
Where: Monona City Hall: 5211 Schluter Rd, Monona, WI 53716
When: Wednesday, January 25th at 6:00pm (Plan to arrive early as seating is limited.)
Why: Your support is needed to reduce cannabis penalties in the City of Monona

Once you arrive, Madison NORML asks that attendees register in support of repeal or $1 fine. Attendees can also register to speak in support. An overwhelming majority of Monona Residents support allowing responsible adult use of cannabis. This support needs to be represented to the Public Safety Committee on January 25th to convince the PSC to refer this issue to the City Council to enact the requested changes.

With cannabis law reform at the state level progressing very slowly, it is incremental efforts like this that lay the groundwork for eventual statewide reform.

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