Gov. Tony Evers put forth a budget proposal last year that would have fully legalized and taxed marijuana, treating it similar to alcohol and bringing in $167 million per year in new tax revenue, which he planned to use for investments in all our communities, including those that have suffered most under our outdated laws related to marijuana.
Revenue from marijuana taxes, under what Gov. Evers proposed, would mean more money for our schools, our hospitals, our roads, and our environment. But instead of acting on Gov. Evers’ common sense approach, Republicans have refused to do what several other states have already done to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
Because of Republican inaction and obstruction on fully legalizing cannabis, economic growth in Wisconsin is stalling. It’s hurting our farmers and our infrastructure. Our marginalized communities are hurting due to disproportionate levels of enforcement.
Wisconsin is falling behind our neighbors like Illinois and Michigan, who have already passed sensible and progressive cannabis legislation, leaving the Badger state isolated in how we’re dealing with marijuana legalization.
Fully legal cannabis in Wisconsin would mean pain relief for those suffering from cancer, eliminating unnecessary criminal records that lead to barriers to employment, fewer people in our prisons, and more money in our pockets and in our schools.
It’s time for Republican leaders to listen to the majority of Wisconsinites and join progressives in supporting fiscally responsible, inclusive, common sense legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin.