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Madison Common Council votes to legalize possession, use of marijuana

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A new ordinance legalizing the possession and use of marijuana in Madison went into effect Friday.

Up to one ounce can be smoked in private homes and on public places like sidewalks, but not on state-owned property, like the Capitol grounds or on the UW-Madison campus.

Lawmakers have polarizing views on whether this could catch on statewide.

Democratic Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee told WISN, "I think that Wisconsin is an outlier, even in the Midwest and you're starting to see cities move forward with it. Milwaukee has done things in the last couple of years, lowering fine and stop clogging up the criminal justice system."

"Historically the caucus has been very firm on this, saying this is not something we're going to go down the road of," said Republican Senator Chris Kapenga of Delafield.

Smoking marijuana is still prohibited anywhere where smoking tobacco isn't allowed and it's still banned within one thousand feet of a school or on a school bus.

The Madison ordinance could face legal challenges since possession remains illegal in Wisconsin under state law.

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