MADISON – Today, Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) presented a petition of over 2,500 Wisconsinites signing their support for legal recreational and medicinal cannabis and taxing it like alcohol to the Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs, Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam). This petition is in favor of Governor Evers’ state biennial budget provision.
In the most recent Marquette Law School poll, 59 percent indicated their support for legal recreational cannabis. As neighboring states of Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota have generated tax revenue from legal cannabis, Senator Agard’s letter to the Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs in accompaniment to the petition include the following statement:
“My office heard from thousands of Wisconsinites in just over two weeks. These are ordinary citizens who raised their voices in support of the provision in the governor’s state budget that would legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. They know it is right for our state. It would benefit us economically, address our egregious racial disparities, and it would allow our rural communities to thrive by embracing this industry.
“Wisconsin’s economy is losing out due to our continued prohibition of cannabis. Needed revenue is leaving our state and going to our neighbors who have rightly legalized cannabis. In the first six months since legalizing cannabis on January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois has garnered over $56 million from taxing legal cannabis. The bottom line is Wisconsin would benefit from the projected $165 million annually that legalization would bring to our state, in addition to the billions of dollars in economic stimulus this industry would create. This is a key provision in the governor’s budget that would increase revenue for our state as we come out of a global pandemic.
“Prohibition does not work, and Wisconsinites know that. From the majority who indicated their support in the Marquette Law School poll to the 2,500+ Wisconsinites who voiced their support on our online form, the will of the people has made it clear that Wisconsin supports legalizing cannabis and taxing it like alcohol.”
This letter and petition urges the Joint Finance Committee to keep Governor Evers’ state biennial budget provision.