Wisconsin Weekly: Cannabis is big business in legalized states

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MJ for money and medicine; alleged confession in ‘Making a Murderer’ case; interrupting violence in MKE; WI farmers need help with climate change


Of note: This week we draw your attention to the latest story in our series, The Cannabis Question. In this installment, reporter Parker Schorr explores the  world of legalized marijuana, which operates under different rules in each state but remains illegal on the federal level. Despite the hurdles, a multi-billion industry has grown up around legal medical and recreational marijuana. Wisconsin is debating whether to follow. 

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Parker Schorr / Wisconsin Watch

Seke Ballard, left, and Seun Adedeji, right, are cannabis entrepreneurs. They stand in front of Ballard’s apartment in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago on Aug. 9, 2019. Under Illinois’ legalization of recreational cannabis, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, people harmed by past drug laws and poverty will have easier access to the industry. Marijuana has grown into a multi-billion-dollar business in states where it is legal for medical or recreational use. Both uses are illegal in Wisconsin.

Marijuana Inc.: Billions at stake as states move to legalize cannabis

Wisconsin Watch — September 22, 2019

If Wisconsin legalizes medical or recreational marijuana, state regulations would drive whether small and minority-owned businesses thrive — or even survive. With 11 states and Washington, D.C., having legalized cannabis for adult recreational use and 33 states plus D.C. with medical cannabis laws, marijuana has quickly grown into an $8 billion industry that shows no signs of slowing down. Wisconsin is debating legalization — but Republicans who run the Legislature are not fully on board.

Exclusive: ‘Making a Murderer’ confession: convicted Wisconsin murderer allegedly confesses to killing Teresa Halbach

Newsweek — September 23, 2019

A Wisconsin inmate has reportedly confessed to the murder of Teresa Halbach. The inmate, who will remain unnamed until Wisconsin law enforcement has access to said confession, told filmmakers of the upcoming documentary series Convicting a Murderer, that he was responsible for the infamous death, as seen on Making a Murderer. Currently, there are two men behind bars for Halbach’s death. Both claim they are innocent. Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey have both spent years fighting for their freedom. Previously from Wisconsin Watch and Iowa Watch: Common interrogation technique suspected of causing false confessions

John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal

Greg Kinsley, of Madison, who uses marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease, said he hopes Wisconsin fully approves medical marijuana. “Not looking over your shoulder would help,” he said.

Lawmakers introduce first bipartisan medical marijuana bill since 2001

Wisconsin State Journal — September 21, 2019

Former Wisconsin Watch intern Riley Vetterkind reports that the first bipartisan effort to legalize cannabis for medical use since 2001 has a tough chance of passing in the immediate future. But with a Republican sponsor, the legislation may represent a changing tide on an issue that has yet to gain traction in Wisconsin despite the widespread legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in surrounding states. Marijuana advocates say the bipartisan legislation represents a pragmatic step toward the full legalization of marijuana. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Lawmaker’s lonely ship filling up as support for legalizing cannabis grows

If violence spreads like a disease, it can be interrupted. How a new team in Milwaukee is trying to stop one shooting leading to another.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — September 25, 2019

For years, arguments and fights have been the leading factor in shootings and gun homicides in Milwaukee. Now public health leaders are trying to get in front of those disputes, ending them before they turn deadly and preventing retaliation, through an effort called 414LIFE. Based in the city’s Office of Violence Prevention, 414LIFE uses the “Cure Violence” model and takes a public health approach to gun violence. The strategy has been used in 25 cities, including Chicago, New York and Baltimore, and was the subject of an acclaimed documentary recently screened in Milwaukee followed by a panel discussion about 414LIFE.

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Rosenholm farm in Cochrane, Wisconsin. The farm belongs to John Rosenow, a fifth-generation dairy farmer.

‘OK, so how?’ These Wisconsin farmers are trying to tackle climate change, but they could use some help

Post Crescent — September 25, 2019

Former Wisconsin Watch intern Madeline Heim reports that as concern mounts about the world’s rapidly changing climate, farmers and their practices are under the microscope. A report released in August by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that people must drastically change their means of food production to prevent the Earth from warming further. Wisconsin farmers say they need help taking on the challenge.

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