Monona Mayor breaks Council Tie to pass pot ordinance amendment

UPDATED 03/24/2017 8:46:08 AM: After a hearing from the public and debating the merits of amending Monona’s current cannabis ordinance, Monona alders tied 3-3 in voting on the first of several options up for consideration, the so-called Kitslaar Amendment after it’s author, Monona Alder Andrew Kitslaar.

Kitslaar Amendment named after it’s author, Monona Alder Andrew Kitslaar.

Alders James Busse, Brian Holmquist, Mary O’Connor, who is running to replace Mayor Miller, all voted No. Aye votes came from Alders Andrew Kitslaar, Chad Speight and Doug Wood. Monona Mayor Bob Miller, who is not seeking reelection, and who had before the vote noted that he supported the change but had not needed to break a tie in six years as mayor had to do just that. The amendment passed 4-3. In discussing how he would vote and why, Mayor Miller talked about the gross racial disparities in cannabis law enforcement and how it falls heaviest on African American males at a rate six times the rate of whites . He noted how Native Americans and people of mixed-race have higher rates of arrests for pot than whites. He also cited the racial disparities in second offense arrests, which under state law are an automatic felony. Thank you Mayor Bob Miller for your wise insight and timely vote!

All potential options with details.

A motion to reconsider failed. After 21 months of effort by Madison NORML, Monona residents and allied activists, private possession of cannabis in the home was no longer covered by a fine. Use outside the home remains a $200 fine, but the fine for home possession and use by adults was repealed as was the fine for possession by adults. Alders had talked about trying to make it closer to Madison Ord. 23.20 and that seems to be the outcome.

City Council Meeting video

Channel3000 News reported details of the amended ordinance:

Details of Amended Ordinance from Channel3000

Some Photos from the meeting:

Alder Kirslaar, author of the amendment voted in 4-3. (
Alder Jim Busse went on and on about his opposition to the change and how it would send a bad message to everyone. (
Madison NORML President Nate Petreman rebutted many of opponent’s arguments. (
Madison NORML’s Shelley Kennedy talked about how cannabis restored lost eyesight from MS complications in compelling testimony. (
A Monona mom to be spoke in support of lightening pot penalties. (
Casey Grady speaks in favor of the change. (
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