Wisconsin voters in three more jurisdictions have weighed in on several marijuana-related ballot questions, potentially setting the stage for actionable legislation down the line.
Voters in Wood County, the Village of Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay were asked to express their opinions about the legalization of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes through non-binding advisory questions during Tuesday’s election.
Five out of six measures were approved.
The votes come after Wisconsinites across the state overwhelmingly embraced marijuana reform by supporting advisory questions during November’s midterm election. While the outcome of the votes won’t directly affect state law, advocates hope they will inform how the legislature approaches the issue going forward.
Here’s the language of the questions that were voted on this time, along with the results:
APPROVED (71-29 percent): Wood County—“Should marijuana be legal for medical purposes only and available only by prescription through a medical dispensary?”
FAILED (40-60 percent): Wood County—“Should marijuana be legal for adults, 21 years of age and older, for recreational use to be taxed and regulated like alcohol?”
APPROVED (82-18 percent): Village of Egg Harbor—“Do you support the use of marijuana for medical purposes?”
APPROVED (55-45 percent): Village of Egg Harbor—“Do you support allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana on private property?”
APPROVED (74-26 percent): City of Sturgeon Bay—“Do you support the use of cannabis for medical purposes?
APPROVED (51-49 percent): City of Sturgeon Bay—“Do you support allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of cannabis?”
Gov. Tony Evers (D) has already made clear that he’d support legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and otherwise decriminalize the plant, putting measures to do both in his budget proposal. He said in February that a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers already “feel confident that this is something that’s important—not only around the issue of medical marijuana but also decriminalizing small amounts.”
“It connects the dots with our efforts that we’re going to be having going forward around the issue of criminal justice reform,” he said. “We feel it’s a good starting place.”
The Republican majorities in the House and Assembly raise questions about the likelihood that decriminalization could pass soon, but legislative leaders have expressed more openness to medical cannabis.
Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.