State News

Evers proposes marijuana legalization, decriminalization

Gov. Tony Evers intends to decriminalize recreational marijuana and legalize medical use in the upcoming budget.

Image By: Téalin Robinson

Gov. Tony Evers announced his intention to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize recreational use for Wisconsinites with a number of medical conditions Sunday. This proposal will be included in his upcoming state budget, which has a deadline of Feb. 28. 

The plan would both decriminalize possession of the drug in small amounts and permit the use of marijuana for a number of medical conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. 

Additionally, it would legalize the possession and use of the marijuana derivative, CBD oil, which is currently not permitted without authorization from a doctor. 

The proposal also suggested expunging the records of people who have previous convictions of marijuana possession in small amounts. 

Evers emphasizing the impact decriminalizing marijuana would have on the criminal justice system.

“Too many people, often persons of color, spend time in our criminal justice system just for possessing small amounts of marijuana,” Evers said in a statement to the Wisconsin State Journal reporter. 

Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, applauded Gov. Evers’ proposal in a press release Sunday, citing support from across the state. 

“Here in Wisconsin, nearly two out of three Wisconsinites believe that all marijuana sales should be taxed and regulated like alcohol sales, and that number grows stronger every year,” Sargent said.

Sargent also talked about her long-term goals for marijuana laws in the state. 

“We must continue to push forward to ensure that there is a path towards fully legalizing marijuana in our state,” Sargent said. “The simple truth is, the most dangerous thing about marijuana right now in our state is that it is illegal.”

Sargent committed to introducing legislation to legalize marijuana after the marijuana advisory referendum was passed by a majority of voters in 16 counties during the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

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