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MJ regulation complicated; DNA may reveal double killer; utility group detangles pocketbook and environmental issues; Sandy Hook denier faces payment to father of dead child

Of note: This week we are happy to highlight the latest installment in The Cannabis Question   series, Wisconsin Watch’s look at what would happen if Wisconsin were to legalize marijuana. In this story, University of Wisconsin-Madison student Rachelle Wilson travels to Michigan to talk with a top policy expert, the mayor of a blue-collar community, Michigan’s biggest marijuana booster and enterprising entrepreneurs about how newly legalized recreational marijuana is affecting the state. She found that popular attitudes that propelled full legalization of marijuana in Michigan are not necessarily shared by all public officials.

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Haze abounds as Michigan struggles to regulate recreational cannabis

Wisconsin Watch — June 16, 2019

Michigan is the first state in the Upper Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Experts say the state’s regulatory system for medicinal use — in place for 10 years — is too complicated. Michigan has scrapped the old system and is now moving toward a unified  regulation of both medical and recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, local communities are deciding whether to allow marijuana sales. Most voters said “yes” to legalizing recreational marijuana, but many of their local elected officials are saying “no” to sales. Also from Wisconsin Watch: Pitfalls and promises: States with legalized marijuana see mixed picture

Police: Wisconsin campground killer evaded us for 42 years, but science caught up to him

Green Bay Press-Gazette June 17, 2019

Police tracked down Raymand Vannieuwenhoven, an alleged killer and rapist, after a genetic genealogist was able to compare DNA found in Ellen Matheys’ shorts with DNA profiles uploaded to open genomic databases, most notably The website was established in 2010 to help researchers and genealogists, as well as people searching for birth parents. Use of genealogy DNA databases has led to charges in several cold cases, including the infamous Golden State Killer.

At 40, Wisconsin CUB sees consumer and environmental fights converging

Energy News Network June 10, 2019

As a wave of consumer activism swept the country in the 1970s, Wisconsinites  formed the country’s first statewide consumer advocacy group focused on utilities. This year marks Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board’s 40th anniversary. Over the years, CUB’s survival has depended on staying true to its mission of consumer advocacy rather than environmental activism. Previously from Wisconsin Watch: Massive Wisconsin solar proposal splits farms and clean energy fans

Judge rules against Sandy Hook denier from Dane County; trial for damages in next step

Wisconsin State Journal — June 18, 2019

A Dane County judge has found that a longtime conspiracy theorist living in the village of Oregon, along with his co-defendant, defamed the father of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre and allowed a trial for damages against the men to move ahead. James Fetzer, of Oregon, and Mike Palecek, of Saginaw, Michigan, edited the 2016 edition of the book “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook,” which alleges Leonard Pozner circulated a fraudulent copy of his son Noah Pozner’s death certificate. Noah Pozner, at age 6, was the youngest victim of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, which left 27 people dead. Fetzer, a professor emeritus of philosophy from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, claims the massacre never happened.

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