The Wisconsin GOP majority removed all mention of reforming our harsh and unreasonable cannabis laws this past budget cycle. However they seemed more than happy to increase the money we spend incarcerating people in this state. Last year our corrections budget was 202.8 million dollars and in the future that price tag will be much higher. Wisconsinites in majority want cannabis to be legal on one level or another but it would seem the GOP would rather stimulate the economy by continuing to drag cannabis consumers into the system.
State Senator Dan Feyen (R) representing those of us in senate district 18 posted information related to the increased corrections budget in his July 10th Capitol Update. Senator Feyen states “this budget makes investments in the people the state has been charged with rehabilitating.” As a person who has had their life altered grievously because of our unforgiving cannabis laws, I believe I am more than qualified to pose the question; “are you serious Senator Feyen?”
Let’s call an apple an apple for a moment shall we? No investment is being made into rehabilitation. Anyone whom actually believes our corrections system rehabilitates anyone either has their head buried in the sand or they’ve never met anyone who is a product of their “rehabilitation.” Our corrections system is there for one purpose. To punish you for violating the law. I don’t for a minute believe this is about the people who are incarcerated. From where I stand this looks like the GOP buying the votes of the folks employed by the corrections system and using our tax dollars to do it. Who isn’t going to vote for the people that gave them a raise?
Wisconsin has said through a non-binding referendum we wanted cannabis to be legal. Not only legal but we want our state economy to profit from it and thrive. As a result of such we want lower taxes, improved services and an improved quality of life. Instead of listening to the voters, the GOP just invests more money into the one thing we are against; locking people up for making their own choices about their medical needs, quality of life and happiness.
During a time when states around us are expunging cannabis convictions and enjoying the benefits of legal cannabis, Wisconsin lawmakers are spending our tax money ramping up funds to prisons.
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