Posted: February 10, 2021 by Gary Storck
My LTE about Gov. Evers proposal to legalize cannabis via the state budget:
Thanks to Gov. Tony Evers for his commitment to legalizing cannabis in Wisconsin, as reported in Monday's article, "Evers: Legalize and tax it." Evers is unique among Wisconsin's governors in that he is the very first to put the power of his office fully behind cannabis legalization.
Evers' predecessor, Scott Walker, adamantly opposed legalization, reciting the same tired spiel concluding with the debunked "gateway theory" every time he was asked. As governor, Walker was responsible for arresting almost as many people for pot in eight years as Tommy Thompson did in 14. Thompson remains the king of pot prohibition, ramping up enforcement steadily over his tenure, with Walker ranking second. Under Evers, cannabis arrests have plummeted.
Despite decades of majority support for legalizing medical use and nearly a decade for adult use, the issue has been a non-starter in the Republican-dominated Legislature, and lawmakers are likely to again block Evers' move. But they can't block Wisconsinites from talking about it, and cannabis legalization is a popular issue that people across the political spectrum agree on -- except, of course, our gerrymandered Legislature.
The current extreme gerrymandering is holding our democracy hostage. Fair legislative maps are the only way out. Then we'll have a Legislature that truly represents the issues that matter to Wisconsinites, including cannabis legalization.
Gary Storck, Madison