Wisconsin State Journal: PUB LTE: 1969 pot bill was simple solution -- Gary Storck

1969 pot bill was simple solution -- Gary Storck

 

It was great to learn that Wisconsin's 12 Democratic senators voted to support cannabis legalization in the budget. Unfortunately, Wisconsin remains mired in cannabis prohibition because the Legislature's majority party seems to see it as a culture issue rather than a failed policy most states are abandoning." data-share-imageurl="http://cannabadger.com/sites/default/files/field/image/p1250681cb.jpg">

Posted: August 10, 2021 by Gary Storck
Category: Politics

Published Jul 23, 2021

1969 pot bill was simple solution -- Gary Storck

 

It was great to learn that Wisconsin's 12 Democratic senators voted to support cannabis legalization in the budget. Unfortunately, Wisconsin remains mired in cannabis prohibition because the Legislature's majority party seems to see it as a culture issue rather than a failed policy most states are abandoning.

But while possessing a small amount may be "legal" some places, often prohibition is replaced with complicated regulations that actually result in more laws that saddle consumers with high prices and excessive taxes.

Historically, the best proposal to end cannabis prohibition in Wisconsin came at a time when smoking a joint could net you a felony and five years in prison.

The bill was filed in 1969 by Rep. Lloyd Barbee, D-Milwaukee, who served from 1965 to 1977 and was the Legislature's only Black member at the time.

Barbee introduced Assembly Bill 1023 "to eliminate the prohibitions against the sale, use and possession of marijuana" on July 17, 1969. According to the Legislative Reference Bureau, Barbee's bill effectively repealed all state laws against cannabis use, possession or sales.

On Nov. 13, 1969, AB 1023 somehow managed to get an Assembly floor vote. A motion to indefinitely postpone the bill passed overwhelmingly by a 94-1 vote, with Barbee casting the single no vote.

Today, 50-plus years later, Wisconsin lawmakers have failed to even decriminalize cannabis statewide. Perhaps the best approach to truly repealing cannabis prohibition can be found in Barbee's pioneering proposals from over a half a century ago.

Gary Storck, Madison