Marijuana Legalization Question Moves To Full Milwaukee County Board

Question Would Allow Voters To Weigh In On Marijuana Use On November Ballot

Committee meeting on recreational marijuana
People weighed in on the legalization of marijuana and the proposed question during a committee meeting Thursday. Ximena Conde/ WPR

Later this month, Milwaukee County Supervisors will vote on whether to include a question on legalizing marijuana on the November ballot. The judiciary committee held a public hearing this week where they heard from supporters.

If approved, the yes-or-no question would appear on the November ballot, asking if people favor legalization for those over 21.

Most people at a public hearing were in favor of marijuana legalization. They cited potential medical and economic benefits. Others, like Kyle Puckhaber said current laws are causing harm.

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“We are putting so many people in prison for non-violent crimes and they’re torn away from their families when we could legalize marijuana and spend the tax dollars to do something more productive like improve our education system,” he said.

Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan introduced the resolution.

Weishan’s resolution says legalization would not only raise state and local revenue but it would allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes.

He said he’s confident Milwaukee County voters will show their support for legalization if the question makes it on the ballot.

“Hopefully then that would encourage the state Legislature to then pass laws that would legalize and decriminalize marijuana use in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

A 2016 Marquette University poll found a majority of Wisconsin voters support legalizing marijuana.

But Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, remain opposed to legalization.