Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to gauge support for medical and recreational marijuana legalization. Voters in two cities and 16 counties will have the opportunity to make their opinions known on November 6. The referendums will not legalize marijuana; these are merely to gain public opinion.
Wide support for legalization of either or both may spark new legislation to be drawn up in the upcoming legislative session, according to the Journal Sentinel. Representative David Bowen is hopeful that vast voter approval will persuade some legislators to at least approve a statewide referendum regarding legalization. Representative Melissa Sargent says that she expects widespread voter approval so a statewide referendum would be unnecessary.
Bowen said, “There would be no denying the results of a statewide referendum.”
Sargent is intending to reintroduce a marijuana legalization bill she worked on in the upcoming session that starts in January. The outcome of the referendum questions should entice more legislators to co-sponsor her legislation.
Sargent said, “The most dangerous thing about marijuana in Wisconsin is that it is illegal.”
Eric Marsch of Southeastern Wisconsin NORML says that voter referendum approval should eliminate the need to wait to move on legalizing marijuana.
Marsch said, “I hope the legislators respect the will of the people in their districts when they learn the results.”
Some of the state’s voters will only be asked about medical marijuana legalization. Others will have multiple questions regarding marijuana on their ballots.
Previous polls have shown support for marijuana legalization hovering around 61%.