Dennis Fehr is a 24 year old politician who is taking on the big dogs in politics! Dissatisfied with both the Democrat and Republican Party, he has founded the Peoples Party and, is a candidate for governor of Wisconsin in 2014. If successful, he will be the youngest governor in the history of the United States.
The Peoples Party has a five point plan that includes the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana; an issue that many Wisconsinites would like to see taken more seriously by legislators. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s political landscape is as gridlocked as anywhere else in the country. When asked why he is running for governor, Dennis blatantly says “I am sick of the constant bickering between republicans and democrats. I believe they are more focused on fighting each other than solving problems.” He believes the newly founded Peoples Party is entirely different; because, they are focused on bringing together the best ideas and brightest people to find solutions for Wisconsin’s problems. Providing “a brighter future for the family” is the slogan of his campaign and, he is uniquely poised to tackle the problems no other politicians in Wisconsin will; including the legalization of marijuana.
Politics and marijuana legalization were not always a priority for Dennis though. Four years ago, he founded his painting company while attending college at the University of Wisconsin Stout. There, he pursued majors in both manufacturing engineering and business management. These experiences began to change his perception of why current marijuana laws do not work; saying that “as I began subcontracting work to individuals who had a lengthy rap sheet, I started to realize they’re not any different than me. Many times they were hit with a small drug charge; like from smoking a bowl at a party. After that, their problems just snowballed.” Being that Wisconsin has a zero tolerance policy for marijuana possession in any quantity; a first offense could lead to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Any subsequent offenses can be considered a felony and are punishable with up to 3.5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Many people know someone who has a lengthy criminal record but, Dennis explains that the difference is most people don’t depend on them on a daily bases to do responsible work, show up on time, and contribute to the work team. “When we make criminals out of ordinary people there is a multitude of unaccounted for effects. We make it difficult for them to find work, provide for their families, and incentivize a self-fulfilling prophesy; ultimately leading to a system full of reoffenders that simply shouldn’t be there.”
Marijuana Makes More than Just Cents
Just as other states, Wisconsin’s drug policies are costing the state millions of dollars per year; between the cost of incarcerating newly formed “criminals” and those of fighting the use of marijuana. “It’s not only expensive, but highly ineffective” said Dennis. Not to mention the loss of potential tax revenue and jobs from what would be the legal sale of marijuana. Dennis would like to emulate decisions like those in Colorado; but adds that he has “learned from their mistakes and can make the transition in Wisconsin smoother.” He cited that although Colorado has already made millions of dollars through marijuana sales this year, many businesses have complained about their complex marijuana sales laws.
These laws have affected both growing and distribution networks while also stunting revenue growth. Estimates predict that nearly half of their cannabis market is still underground; meaning that no state taxes are collected from it. Experts have pointed to their lack of dispensaries due to a slow licensing process and, many promising cannabis companies’ inability to secure construction loans and deposit revenue into banks (many banks fear these deposits might be seized by the feds) as possible reasons for seeing lower than anticipated revenue and, stunted marijuana sales.
Dennis says “these problems are not hard to fix but, should have been foreseen. The real problem is that legislators failed to recognize what businesses need to produce, manufacture, and distribute a product to consumers. That is exactly why we need politicians who have business and engineering minds; to pave the way for cannabis legalization; amongst other things.” He says that many legislators do not understand what it takes to make a product; let alone stimulate an entirely new industry that will soon reach far beyond just smoking marijuana.
“If we let entrepreneurs and businesses do what they do best, we can bring in billions of tax dollars and reinvigorate the manufacturing industry,” said Dennis. In a day and age where manufacturing in the United States is low and employment rates are seemingly lower; the cannabis industry is brimming with possibilities and products, waiting to be recognized. The real question is; are the people of Wisconsin ready to embrace this industries potential? Dennis believes that people are not just ready; they are eager to implement marijuana into everything from clothing and paper, to green technology and modern medicines.
Ease the Pain Marijuana is Medicine
Imagine shooting pain throughout your body every day; as if you were being stabbed repeatedly. Now imagine there was a cure for that pain but, it was illegal. If the sense of being stabbed continuously wasn’t torture enough, the thought that legislators would rather sit idle than help the sick puts waterboarding to shame!
When talking about a friend named James; Dennis explains that his friend is confined to a wheel chair due to the chronic effects of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). James gets shooting pains throughout his legs all day and frequently tells Dennis that he would love a release from his pain. Sadly, James says that “prescription drugs just don’t cut it.” If he does light up a bowl of marijuana, which actually works to cut the pain; he will be labeled a criminal, if not, he is left to suffer.
Millions of people are in a tough spot, caught between following the law and suffering. Left at the mercy of legislators; pleading for their medicine to be legalized! There are thousands of case studies and research papers that highlight the benefits of medicinal use. Everything from cancer treatment and disease prevention has been studied; these could be taken even further. But for now, people like James, whose doctor simply cannot prescribe a synthetic drug as effective at relieving his pain as marijuana; the choice is simple. Marijuana is medicine and prohibition is criminal.
No Guts No Glory
Someone needs to take a stand against the Democrat and Republican Party; if not Dennis, then who? Legalization is an issue that is consistently shown to be popular amongst Wisconsinites and people in many other states. Dennis says “this proves to me that they [Republicans and Democrats] are simply not interested in representing the people anymore. Just look at congress for example; here’s a group of people that waste more tax dollars in one day by fighting with each other, than many people in this country make in an entire year! And, the worst part is we generally expect that they will accomplish virtually nothing.”
“Frankly,” he continued, “I wouldn’t tolerate incompetence like this in my business, and I expect those who work for us taxpayers to pull their own weight. That means representing the people and finding solutions; not excuses.” An interesting statement from a guy who’s fresh into politics but might have what it takes to make the difference in the minds of Wisconsin legislators. This can be very tough when third party candidates often run on shoestring budgets and, against massive political parties with millions of dollars to burn. Dennis Fehr and the Peoples Party are determined to change the game; saying, “our advantage is that we have great people, even better ideas, and that we are committed to finding reasonable solutions that make sense for the people. Solutions like marijuana legalization.”
The Peoples Party is already registered with the state of Wisconsin and Dennis says they are still small in comparison to other parties but, are growing fast. He urges everyone to “get involved in any way you can; it’s really easy! Just look at our website, share our social media, donate, and talk with friends and family; it helps more than you’d think! Most people assume everyone else will do these things. Oftentimes, that means few people actually get involved; we need you to succeed!”
Wisconsin’s state motto, “Forward,” seems to have been lost in translation between the democrats and republicans; just like in the rest of the country. Dennis has vowed to fight the goliaths; bringing the ball back into the court of the people. Stating that, “we believe a brighter future for the family is not only our slogan, but rather, our commitment to the people. A commitment to solutions that will set an example the entire nation will follow.”
Ph: (715) 210-0019
Add: Dennis Fehr / Peoples Part,
2000 Oxford Ave, Bus 1, Suite 1,
Eau Claire, WI, 54703