By Derrick Stanley
Hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of Wisconsin's capitol building over the weekend to rally in support of legalizing marijuana.
The protest was part of the 46th annual Madison Hemp Festival, where many pro-marijuana activists spoke, sending a message to Wisconsin lawmakers.
"I very much believe that marijuana is not the most dangerous thing that people are walking around in their pockets, but we're treating it as it is," said 48th District State Representative Melissa Sargent. "We need to change our laws so that people can take care of their illnesses in a way that they deserve to."
Sargent has proposed several bills to legislators that would legalize marijuana in Wisconsin for both medical and recreational purposes.
The movement has its opposition, however.
"Melissa and I have discussed her position on legalization on marijuana, and I disagree with her," said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, who says while he would consider supporting the legalization of medical marijuana, under no circumstances will he support recreational use. "I don't believe that we are at a point that we know that marijuana is not an entry drug and I don't think we are at the point that marijuana has no lasting effects."
So far, all of Sargent's proposed bills have been shut down by Wisconsin legislators.