marijuana

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People will soon be allowed to smoke marijuana in Illinois. The law was passed in May and will take effect in January 2020. That could spark a whole new type of "weed tourism," where Wisconsinites travel south to use the drug.

So, what do people traveling through this state need to know about possessing marijuana or even driving after ingesting it?

Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch

After four decades of using strong prescription drugs to treat Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive disorder, Patty developed an aggressive form of skin cancer.

“It’s because my body has been suppressed for so long, it can’t fight it [cancer],” the Wisconsin resident said.

Patty, who has worked at her father’s restaurant for 27 years, now struggles to handle full-time duties.

“I’m trying to get disability, but I’ve been denied once already. I don’t plan on quitting working. I just need help. I need help because I can’t do a full-time job,” Patty said.

Recreational pot is about to become legal in Illinois, but Chicago's Housing Authority says not in our backyard or front yard or anywhere on public housing premises, for that matter.

Housing voucher recipients received a letter from the agency last week, warning them about the ramifications of smoking or possessing pot on federally funded grounds even after it becomes legal on Jan. 1. In a nutshell, those who violate the federal law could face eviction.

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There have been lots of arguments made both for and against medical marijuana. But there are flaws in claims made on both sides. That's what researchers at the Wisconsin Policy Forum found with their latest report.

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Black people in Wisconsin make up almost 7% of the state population yet are roughly 40% of Wisconsin's prison inmates. Lawmakers and community organizers at a press conference Wednesday presented a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. The goal: to reduce the number of people of color in jail.

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An increasing number of Midwestern states are legalizing marijuana in some form or another. Will Wisconsin do the same? State lawmakers have mixed opinions on the issue.

Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, has been a member of the state Assembly for six years — and that's about how long she's been working on a bill that would fully legalize marijuana in Wisconsin. While she's authored legislation three times, it's never gone anywhere in the Republican-controlled Legislature. But with neighboring states approving recreational cannabis, she feels like it's time to try again.

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There's a lot of money being made across the country from the legalization of marijuana.

While weed is still illegal at the federal level, nearly 20 states allow the use of medical marijuana. The District of Columbia and 11 states have legalized the recreational use — Illinois is one. The new law goes into effect in January. It's expected to eventually bring in anywhere between $500 million and $700 million a year. 

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Nearly nine out of 10 cases where vaping led to people developing a severe lung disease in Wisconsin involved the use of THC products, such as waxes or oils, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services said Thursday.

Health officials said that 89% of the 27 people they interviewed who became sick reported using e-cigarettes or other vaping devices to inhale THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

Researchers hoping to study marijuana for scientific and medical purposes are one step closer to expanding their limited supply of the plant.

This week, the federal government announced it would begin processing dozens of pending applications for permission to cultivate the plant for scientific research.

Advice To Immigrants: ‘Do Not Mess With Marijuana' Even Where It Is Legal

Aug 4, 2019
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

In late December 2017, Lisa Kum received a call from her husband, Sothy.

Sothy told Lisa to pick him up in Chicago because he was about to be released after three months of detention by immigration authorities on a marijuana-related charge. On the drive from Wisconsin with their daughter Emma, she received another call: Sothy said there was a mistake, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement was not going to release him.

Blacks Arrested For Pot Possession At Four Times The Rate Of Whites In Wisconsin

Jul 14, 2019
Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch

During Wisconsin’s 2018 midterm election, which saw a record-breaking turnout, it was not the close gubernatorial race that motivated Milwaukee resident Marlon Rockett to cast an early ballot. It was the county’s non-binding referendum on whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized.

Illinois has become the 11th state in the country to legalize the recreational use and purchase of marijuana.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who was elected last year, signed the bill into law on Tuesday, fulfilling a key campaign promise. The state joins 10 others and the District of Columbia in allowing recreational use. The legislation takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

In Wisconsin, Users Of Cannabis And CBD Are As Close As Main Street

Jun 24, 2019
Emily Hamer / Wisconsin Watch

In a tiny room inside a hair salon in Viroqua, Wis., two women gaze over a glass case. They have driven 30-some miles down the Mississippi River from La Crosse just to check out Kickapoo Kind, a shop established last summer in the heart of the state’s politically liberal Driftless region.

On a Saturday morning, customers flow in and out of the shop, where a neon CBD sign glows in the window and a fan spreads the smell of cannabis as soon as you walk in the door.

'Haze' Abounds As Michigan Struggles To Regulate Recreational Cannabis

Jun 17, 2019
Viktor Tollemar / Wisconsin Watch

Matthew Abel’s law firm bank account was shut down twice. He had to temporarily change the name of his Detroit firm from Cannabis Counsel to the generic Rivertown, PLC.

John Sinclair, a “radical poet” and national symbol of marijuana injustice, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1969 after passing two joints to an undercover narcotics officer.

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