The Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Network volunteers from the Oshkosh and Appleton area recently embarked on an mission to reach out to their local elected officials at the city and county level. Activism is a marathon, not a sprint. Relationship building and education is key. Regional leaders with the network, Tess and Kris developed a cannabis reform questionnaire geared towards local municipality candidates. During the course of their work with candidates they assigned a letter grade based off their cannabis conversations and questionnaire results. The help from Nick with graphic design on the “report cards” is the icing on the cake and project well done.
As the state of Wisconsin appears again to expect cannabis reform legislation to be stalled out by the Republican leadership and Republican controlled committees, local municipalities are moving to de facto legalization strategies like in the city of Monona, Sturgeon Bay and most recently Madison. The City of Madison should serve as a solid model for other municipalities to mimic word for word. Why reinvent the wheel? Regional leader Eric from Milwaukee has already been working with Milwaukee county board members who recently approved a measure to make simple marijuana possession a $1 fine. Similar $1 fine measures have passed in Rock County. Will the City of Milwaukee and municipalities follow the City of Madison? After all, in 2018 the referendum for legal marijuana passed in every municipality within Milwaukee County borders.
Some ask why are not the “friendly” counties removing the penalty. The answer seems to be the cannot and county statue says they can only lower the fine. On the other hand, cities can remove the penalty all together. Those really interested in knowing more about the statue(s) and working with their elected officials are welcome to contact (WI-Can) The Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Network directly on Facebook.
Now back to Oshkosh in Winnebago County and Appleton in Outagamie County and some local races. The City of Appleton lowered marijuana possession fines in October 2020. The City of Oshkosh had two successful petition campaigns organized by the late Mark Kelderman. His work ultimately lead to reform by the city of Oshkosh lowering fines for marijuana possession. Many more municipalities have friendly candidates, but as I mentioned above, Tess and Kris are residents of these areas and that is the focus of the below grades, to share with other residents of these districts.