The Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, is calling for the decriminalization of recreational marijuana use.
Evers supports Wisconsin residents being able to carry or sell small amounts of marijuana and wants to legalize its use for medical reasons.
The Governor’s first state budget proposal to decriminalize the drug will include that manufacturers and distributors can handle 25 grams or fewer. The proposal also calls to create Wisconsin’s first medical marijuana program that would be regulated by the state’s health and agriculture departments.
Furthermore, the proposal would expunge convictions of possessing, manufacturing or selling 25 or fewer grams of marijuana from criminal records of those found guilty of such crimes in the past.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau remarked, “I still don’t believe the support’s there within the Senate caucus to move in that direction, but I know that the debate’s going on nationwide.”
“I think the last thing the people of Wisconsin want as it relates to marijuana is that it eventually devolves into Pfizer running (the market),” said Evers last month. “I want it to be set up in a way that people in the state of Wisconsin feel comfortable that they can make some money by doing this work without having to essentially go broke.”
“The bottom line is that we’re spending too much money prosecuting and incarcerating people, and often people of color, for nonviolent crimes related to possessing small amounts of marijuana”
Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, who leads the Legislature’s Black Caucus, said, “Harsh drug laws do not do much to deter marijuana use. All they succeed in doing is disproportionately locking up Wisconsinites of color.”
“It makes it easier to get recreational marijuana and provides a pathway to full legalization, which I do not support,” remarked Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester. Additionally, under Evers’ plan, all marijuana sold for medical uses must be grown in Wisconsin. Growers could cultivate up to 12 plants. The governor plans to unveil the full proposal on February 28th.