Wisconsin lawmakers discuss the potential of legalizing marijuana

Democrats and Republicans debate the pros and cons

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN -

Twenty nine states have legalized marijuana but will Wisconsin follow suit? Just this week a lawmaker in Madison proposed a bill that would do just that, but the proposed bill has a long way to go before becoming a law.

On Thursday State Representative Melissa Sargent proposed a bill that she says would create thousands of jobs and give our state's economy a potential multi-billion dollar boost.

This will be the third time the democrat lawmaker has proposed legalizing marijuana. The representative points to Colorado as the prime example of what legalization could accomplish. In Colorado the sale of marijuana generated two point four billion dollars in economic activity and it also created nearly 20-thousand jobs. To top those numbers all off, it managed to accomplish those things in just one year. But here in Wisconsin lawmakers on opposite sides of the aisle have differing opinions as to whether or not legalization is a good idea.

"The youth has really had some negative consequences on brain development, academic performance, and so I think there are some watch outs that still exist as relates to recreational broad access to marijuana," says Representative David Steffen a Republican from Green Bay.

"It also is something we could look at taxing and using tax revenue from. It also would help us decrease our costs for corrections and what we're spending on putting people through the court systems or even in jail for using marijuana," adds Representative Amanda Stuck a Democrat from Appleton.

Republican state lawmakers NBC26 reached out to say the proposal of the bill will be reviewed but it's unlikely to get much support. Meanwhile marijuana supporters say they'll continue pushing to make cannabis legal in Wisconsin.

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