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Local group pushing for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in southeast Wisconsin

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- One of Racine's most-vocal pro-marijuana activists has just won a seat on their county board and with his beliefs as a candidate, he's not alone.

Some progressives say "the blue wave" Governor Scott Walker has been warning state Republicans about could actually be a pathway to marijuana legalization in Wisconsin.

The main group pushing for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in southeast Wisconsin is NORML which stands for the "National Organization For The Reform of Marijuana Laws." The group says they're emboldened by the most recent round of elections. 

Fabi Maldonado has never held public office before but he's been around politics a lot, founding the Racine County Green Party. He calls his win of the county's district 2 seat "a signal of change."

"Specifically cannabis reform. And I will be leading the charge here in the city of Racine that we decriminalize and I will be bringing that fire to the county board," said Maldonado.

The group met Tuesday at the Milwaukee Public Library and say that at least three other people elected last week hold similar views.

"It sends a message when people running openly on cannabis legalization or decriminalization win that this is something that the people want," said Marsch.

Maldonado says he thinks he won because he spoke openly with voters.

"Mostly I advocated for others. I have used it before and I'm sick and tired of the fake rhetoric where people are like 'I've never even seen it! I've never even smelt it!' Some over the top stuff and I'm like people, let's get real for one moment," said Maldonado. 

State Senator Van Waangard who is also the majority caucus Republican vice chair has expressed multiple times over the past year that recreational marijuana will not happen in Wisconsin, he feels, as long as he is in the Senate saying that marijuana is a gateway drug. 

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