On Day 32 of their 60-day direct legislation campaign to decriminalize pot in the city, Racine Greens have collected the 3870 or so signatures needed to place the issue before voters. Racine Green Party co-chairs Fabi Maldonado and Sondra Plunkett and Eric Marsch director of SE WI NORML broke the news on July 4 on Facebook. They still intend to collect as many more signatures as possible in the remaining 4 weeks of the campaign, but they have reached the minimum number needed to place their cannabis decriminalization proposal on Racine ballots in 2018. In the accompanying video, Marsch, who spearheaded the successful direct legislation campaign in West Milwaukee, also discussed plans to get as many Wisconsin cities as possible voting on decriminalization in 2018.
Here is their statement from the Racine Greens Facebook page:
"The Racine Green Party is extremely proud to announce and thank our fellow citizens for making our initiative to decriminalize Marijuana an overwhelming success as of today. It could not be more appropriate than for this to happen on Independence Day, 2017.
People have shown that they understand that this initiative is a huge victory for civil rights. Let me explain how that is so. Despite virtually equal usage among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, the prosecution and imprisonment rate is many times higher for minorities than it is for Whites. The imprisonment rate for African/American men alone is higher in SE Wisconsin than it is for any other similar geographic area ON EARTH!
Yes, you heard that correctly! Arrests under the failed "War on Drugs," is substantially responsible for that shameful statistic. A remarkable number of young Black men are being arrested and imprisoned for no reason other than that they have been caught possessing or using Marijuana, in no greater percentage than their White counterparts.
That can mean only one of two things. 1. They are either the most criminal Black people on earth, or 2. There is something terribly wrong with our judicial system in SE Wisconsin.
I am familiar with many men of that age whose only "crime" is possession of Marijuana and I am convinced beyond all doubt that the problem is within our judicial system.
Today represents a huge step along the path to freedom for many of our fellow citizens who have had, or are threatened to have, their lives disrupted and destroyed by their arrest and prosecution for something that is not considered a crime in many other places in America and around the world.
Help is on the way, brothers and sisters, the Green Party has your back. Now, while we gathered the required number of signatures to put this issue up for a ballot vote in an extraordinarily brief time, we ask people to continue signing our petitions and to remain committed to showing up on election day to put a definitive end to this Un-American persecution.
Thank You to Everyone, and please enjoy the rest of your Independence Day celebration!"