Police Chief: Legalize Marijuana, Use Tax Revenue To Fund Drug Treatment

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Wisconsin - Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed the legalization of marijuana last week, saying the drug should be regulated and taxed, with revenues used to fund treatment programs for harder drugs. The comments came during an interview with the State Journal Wednesday about data showing African-Americans in Madison were arrested or cited for marijuana offenses at about 12 times the rate of whites in the city.

Koval called efforts to enforce laws against marijuana an "abject failure," and said the same about the broader war on drugs. "We've done such an abysmal job using marijuana as a centerpiece of drug enforcement, that it's time to reorder and triage the necessities of what's more important now," Koval said. Referring to the states of Washington and Colorado, which have legalized the drug for recreational use and sell it at state-regulated stores, he said it was time for Wisconsin to consider doing the same.

Koval said he would like to see the state "acknowledge the failure" of marijuana prohibition and instead focus on the "infinite amount of challenges" posed by drugs such as heroin. Taxes from the legal sale of marijuana, he said, would create state revenue that could then be used to fund drug treatment and expand the capacity of drug court programs that divert addicts from the criminal justice system. Once relegated to the fringe of the political spectrum, proponents of marijuana legalization have seen their numbers swell in recent years. Along with Washington and Colorado, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. The cause has not advanced as far in Wisconsin, though, where the drug remains completely illegal. State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, introduced a bill to legalize marijuana earlier this year, but the legislation stands little chance of becoming law.



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Source: Lacrossetribune.com
Author: Nico Savidge
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Website: Police chief: Legalize marijuana, use tax revenue to fund drug treatment
 
This is one intelligent, logical cop. I live in Wisconsin and have found no other medicine that relieves the awful symptoms of crohn's disease for me. I am NOT a criminal. I felt like I was doing something wrong for a long time. I don't sell marijuana, but I have resorted to growing my own medicine. I know what is in it and where it came from. I don't have to deal with any possibly bad people to obtain my medicine. I am willing to go to court to prove my case but I hope that does not happen. For me this medicine is a requirement if I am to have a reasonable quality of life. We need more people like this man to get the correct information to the people that have been lied to about this drug. I no longer use any narcotic pain meds due to this truly amazing plant. What a relief that is!! They nearly took my life.