Police Chief, Mike Koval, of Madison, Wisconsin endorsed the legalization of marijuana , saying the drug should be regulated and taxed, with revenues used to fund treatment programs for harder drugs.

Koval said he would like to see the state “acknowledge the failure” of marijuana prohibition and instead focus on the “infinite amount of challenges” posed by drugs such as heroin. Taxes from the legal sale of marijuana, he said, would create state revenue that could then be used to fund drug treatment and expand the capacity of drug court programs that divert addicts from the criminal justice system.

Once relegated to the fringe of the political spectrum, proponents of marijuana legalization have seen their numbers swell in recent years. Along with Washington and Colorado, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use.

The cause has not advanced as far in Wisconsin, though, where the drug remains completely illegal. State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, introduced a bill to legalize marijuana earlier this year, but the legislation stands little chance of becoming law.

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