Majority of Appleton voters want to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin

How likely is legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin?
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 5:45 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - A majority of voters in Appleton on Tuesday said they would like to see marijuana legalized in Wisconsin. Appleton’s city council members put an advisory referendum on the ballot to gauge public interest and two-thirds of the voters said ‘yes’.

Medical and recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states, including Maryland and Missouri after Tuesday’s election.

The question appeared on the ballot for 9 municipalities across the state, including Appleton, but it was advisory in nature which means it has no impact on the state’s current laws.

Marijuana is illegal in the state, both recreationally and medicinally.

Although the advisory referendum doesn’t change policy, Appleton Alderman Alex Schultz said it gives local state leads an idea of where people stand on important issues. In Appleton, 69 percent of the voters on Tuesday said they would like to legalize marijuana.

“It’s another reminder and you know, I think it puts a little bit of pressure on our state representatives and elected officials to move the ball forward maybe a little bit sooner than they would otherwise,” said Schultz.

Representative Lee Snodgrass, D-Appleton, said this advice from Appleton gives her more momentum to push this topic at the state level.

Snodgrass feels Wisconsin will soon be alone in its stance on marijuana in the Midwest. Michigan and Illinois already legalized it and Minnesota isn’t too far behind, already allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“We know that people are traveling across state lines to consume cannabis and to, you know, recreate with that and so we’re not really keeping it out of Wisconsin. What we’re doing is keeping the revenue and the regulation out of Wisconsin and I think it’s important for us to realize that.”

Representative David Murphy (R-Greenville) did not have time to talk to Action 2 News Thursday, but Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) said he expects to talk a bout marijuana in the state legislature and he’s worried.

“We already lead the nation in drunk driving. Other states that have legalized marijuana have seen hundreds more die from stoned driving. It is not reasonable to risk anyone else’s life to smoke marijuana. We need solutions, perhaps in new technology, that will protect everyone,” wrote Tusler.

Governor Tony Evers said he’s tried to get the legislature to talk about legalizing marijuana in the past and he plans to try again soon.

All 9 advisory referendums in the state passed Tuesday, including Appleton