Now surrounded by states where recreational marijuana use is legal, another attempt has been launched in Wisconsin for it to join its neighbours.
Late last week Senate Democratic Leader Melissa Agard and Representative Darrin B. Madison introduced legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use in the state. Senator Agard said she has been trying to change Wisconsin’s “antiquated and deeply-unjust” marijuana policies for a decade.
“Right now, we are seeing our hard earned money go across the border to Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year,” stated the senator. “That is money we could be reinvesting to help support our friends and neighbors and make our state a place where people want to live, work, and play.”
Representative Madison said legalization is about public safety and racial justice.
“People in Wisconsin indulge in cannabis use, and deserve the ability to buy safe cannabis and use it responsibly without being criminalized.”
According to Senator Agard, a Democrat, 69% of Wisconsinites back the full legalization – and this includes a majority of Republicans.
“Let’s join folks in over half the nation who have said ‘yes’ to putting the half-baked politics of prohibition behind us and set our expectations higher,” she said.
As well as the current situation with recreational marijuana, Wisconsin is a holdout state for medical marijuana as well.
In 2017, a bill exempting individuals from criminal penalties for using and possessing cannabidiol oil became law. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. However, patients wanting to use CBD must have a certification from a doctor that the oil is to be used to treat a medical condition.
There has also been some activity among lawmakers to expand medical marijuana access and Democratic Governor Tony Evers has previously indicated he would sign such a bill if lawmakers pass legislation. Governor Evers also backs recreational marijuana and attempted to get legislation over the line earlier this year – an attempt that failed.
“An overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like we already do with alcohol,” he posted on X earlier this month. “It’s time to join red and blue states across the country and get this done.”