MONONA, Wis. – Activists from the Madison chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, are circulating a petition to place a measure on the November ballot to decriminalize marijuana within the city of Monona.
The group held a petition signing event for Monona residents Sunday near the corner of Monona Drive and Dean Avenue.
The proposed measure would reduce possession fines from $313 to $1 and make marijuana enforcement the lowest priority for Monona police.
“Nobody should go to jail for marijuana,” activist Dennis Brennan said. “It should be (decriminalized). There should not be fines.”
Monona’s public safety commission considered a similar proposal in February, but tabled it, prompting NORML members to take it directly to voters.
“They already had a chance to listen to the people and they did not do that,” Daniel Conners, a member of NORML, said.
Activists said the measure would allow police to focus on more serious issues.
“We have a heroin problem here that needs to be taken care of in southeast Wisconsin,” Brennan said. “It’s a serious problem and a lot of it happens to start in doctors’ offices. That’s where police need to work.”
Conners said the group has about half of the 719 signatures it needs to get the issue onto the ballot. It plans to hold more petition signing events around the city in order to reach out to Monona voters.