Wisconsin-- Supporters of legalizing marijuana are in Madison this week vetting lawmakers but will Wisconsin be the 19Th state to legalize pot?
It's easy to find opinion on the topic at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Sophomore David Olson says, "When it comes to medical [marijuana], I feel it is something that will happen across every state..." Freshman Shawn Grignon adds, "If it's going to be legalized. I think it should be legalized for recreational use.
But is this issue on the minds of the populas? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean Wisconsinites will be voting on it any time soon. "I think when it comes to state legislation and national legislation you're going to see a continued focus on things like job creation, on the economy, the federal debt and state budget," says UW-GB political science professor, Dr. David Helpap.
Our Michigan neighbors legalized medical marijuana in 2008. Menominee Police Chief Brett Botbyl hasn't been a big fan of the law, "I also believe that there has been more abuse that has been brought-on by the passage of this law." Chief Botbyl adds his state's marijuana law was ambiguous and law enforcement is still sorting out issues like what to do about driving under the influence of marijuana.
There is a difference however, in how Michigan and Wisconsin pass laws. In Michigan, having enough public signatures will get your issue on a state-wide ballot. That's not the case in Wisconsin. Legalizing pot will be much more difficult. Dr. David Helpap says, "The Wisconsin legislature has to has to first approve it in one session...approve it again in a subsequent session and the public has to then vote on the amendment, " making a push to pass pot in Wisconsin, a pretty tall task.