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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers will ask the legislature to legalize recreational and medical marijuana,
according to a press release issued Sunday.
Under the proposal, the state would tax marijuana sales to provide additional revenue for the
government, which Evers said he intends to spend on schools, health services, and underserved
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection would be tasked with regulating the sale and use of the substance. The minimum
use for legal marijuana purchase and consumption would be 21, and medical marijuana users would be
able to obtain and use the plant without paying retail taxes.
The proposal would limit marijuana possession by Wisconsin residents to no more than two ounces and
six plants for personal use. Nonresidents would be limited to a quarter ounce. No marijuana processor
or other “microbusiness” operating as a processor would be able to make marijuana grown outside of
“Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no
reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites,”
Evers said in the release.
Evers cited a 2019 Marquette University Law School Poll that found 59 percent of voters favored
legalizing marijuana. The same poll found 36 percent of Wisconsin voters opposed legalization. The poll
found 83 percent of voters favored legalizing prescription marijuana use, with 12 percent opposed.
Legalizing marijuana and taxing it would generate more than $165 million in tax revenue starting in
Fiscal Year 2023, according to the press release.
Of that amount, $80 million would be set aside in a new fund called the Community Reinvestment Fund.
The fund would provide $30 million each in equity grants via the state health services, administration,
and children and families departments, $5 million to fund grants in underserved communities via the
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and $34 million for aid to rural school systems. The
remaining profits would be deposited in the state general fund.
The proposal represents the second time Evers has sought to legalize marijuana in the state.
Fifteen states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana use in the United States.
Republican leaders have opposed legalizing recreational marijuana in the past. Assembly speaker
Wisconsin Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has publicly supported legalizing medical marijuana use.
Vos did not respond to a call for comment.