State lawmaker to introduce marijuana legalization bill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State lawmaker to introduce marijuana legalization bill

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

On Thursday, Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) is set to announce legislation to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin.

Her office would not release details about the bill, but said it would include both recreational and medical marijuana. The goal is to bring more money into the state to fix lingering budget problems, including transportation funding.

In Wausau, some residents hope the proposal takes off.

"I think it's a great idea, it's about time," said Jeff McDonald. "There are a lot of things that are illegal that does a lot more harm than marijuana does. And I think with marijuana, we could help people that are currently taking a lot of opioids, and those are far more dangerous."

Meanwhile, others are more leery.

"If it was introduced in a more controlled aspect, like any medication I don't think it can just go 100 percent," said Claire Oslund, also of Wausau. "I do also see drug use being an issue in schools. And if it were to be legalized that it could potentially be a gateway students, middle school students to have access too."

Though the plan is still in its early stages, drug experts are concerned that accessibility of marijuana.

"The more available we make them, the more acceptable we make them, the less risky people see it," said Melissa Dotter of the Drug Free Communities Program in Marathon County. "And the more harm it could potentially do in the community."

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