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Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana

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Wisconsin voters approve referendums on marijuana

Cannabis was the big winner in Wisconsin's midterm elections.

Cannabis referendums passed overwhelmingly in all 16 counties and 2 cities, with up to 88 percent support for medical and 76 percent support for recreational. While these referendums were only advisory, they show cannabis law reform to be more popular than many of the lawmakers who won in these areas. This should send a strong message to the incoming Wisconsin legislature that cannabis law reform — including medical cannabis, cannabis decriminalization, and cannabis legalization — must be a priority in 2019.

Another huge victory was kicking out staunch prohibitionist Gov. Scott Walker and prohibitionist Attorney General Brad Schimel and electing Tony Evers and Josh Kaul to replace them. Both Democrats are supportive of medical cannabis and open minded on recreational cannabis. The close margin in statewide races means they both owe their jobs to the hundreds of thousands of cannabis voters who came out to support the referendums.

U.S. Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir suffered a double-digit loss at the polls. As chair of the Wisconsin Senate's Health and Human Services Committee, she blocked all medical cannabis legislation. During a televised debate this fall, she claimed cannabis is more addictive than meth. Wisconsinites rejected her Reefer Madness-style fear-mongering on cannabis and they understand its safety and efficacy.

NORML plans to schedule meetings with Governor-elect Evers and legislative leadership to ensure the clearly demonstrated will of the people is quickly enacted.

The results of the referendums are listed below (see Journal Sentinel's totals)

To get involved with our movement to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin, or to get more information about our work, contact SE WI NORML executive director Eric Marsch eric@sewinorml.org or 262-443-0089.

Brown County:

"Should cannabis be legalized in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes, and regulated in the same manner as other prescription drugs?"

  • 76 percent YES
  • 24 percent NO

Clark County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes and regulate its use in the same manner as other prescription drugs?"

  • 67 percent YES
  • 33 percent NO

Dane County:

"Should marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?"

  • 76 percent YES
  • 24 percent NO

Eau Claire County:

"Should cannabis:"

  • 54 percent - Be legal for adult, 21years of age and older, recreational or medical use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure in Wisconsin?
  • 31 percent - Be legal for medical purposes only and available only by prescription through a medical dispensary?
  • 15 percent - Remain a criminally illegal drug as provided under current law?

Forest County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 79 percent YES
  • 21 percent NO

Kenosha County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 88 percent YES
  • 12 percent NO

La Crosse County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin legalize the use of marijuana by adults 21 years or older, to be taxed and regulated in the same manner that alcohol is regulated in the State of Wisconsin, with proceeds from taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?"

  • 63 percent YES
  • 37 percent NO

Langlade County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 77 percent YES
  • 23 percent NO

Lincoln County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 81 percent YES
  • 19 percent NO

Marathon County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 82 percent YES
  • 18 percent NO

Marquette County:

"Shall the County of Marquette, Wisconsin, adopt the following resolution? Resolved, that "We the People" of Marquette County, Wisconsin, support the right of its citizens to acquire, possess and use medical cannabis upon the recommendation of a licensed physician, and; Be It Further Resolved, that we strongly support a statewide referendum requesting Wisconsin to join with thirty-two (32) other states that have already approved the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain, several debilitating diseases and disabling symptoms."

  • 78 percent YES
  • 22 percent NO

Milwaukee County:

"Do you favor allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana, while also regulating commercial marijuana-related activities, and imposing a tax on the sale of marijuana?"

  • 70 percent YES
  • 30 percent NO

Portage County:

"Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical [treatment] purposes, if those individuals have a written [treatment] recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?"

  • 83 percent YES
  • 17 percent NO

Racine County:

"Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal use?"

  • 85 percent YES
  • 15 percent NO

"Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?"

  • 59 percent YES
  • 41 percent NO

"Should proceeds from marijuana taxes be used to fund education, health care, and infrastructure?"

  • 81 percent YES
  • 19 percent NO

Rock County:

"Should cannabis be legalized for adult use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the Taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?"

  • 69 percent YES
  • 31 percent NO

Sauk County:

"Should the state of Wisconsin legalize medical marijuana so that people with debilitating medical conditions may access medical marijuana if they have a prescription from a licenses Wisconsin physician?"

  • 80 percent YES
  • 20 percent NO

City of Racine:

"Should cannabis be legalized for adult recreational use in Wisconsin?"

  • 66 percent YES
  • 34 percent NO

"Should cannabis be legalized for medical use in Wisconsin?"

  • 88 percent YES
  • 12 percent NO

"Should cannabis sales be taxed and the revenue from such taxes be used for public education, health care, and infrastructure in Wisconsin?"

  • 83 percent YES
  • 17 percent NO

"Should cannabis be decriminalized in the State of Wisconsin?"

  • 72 percent YES
  • 28 percent NO

City of Waukesha:

"Should cannabis be legalized in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes, and regulated in the same manner as other prescription drugs?"

  • 77 percent YES
  • 23 percent NO
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