Senate Democratic Leader Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Representative Darrin B. Madison (D-Milwaukee) introduced legislation to legalize cannabis for responsible, adult use in Wisconsin. This bill would allow Wisconsin to join 38 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws broadly legalizing cannabis in some form.
“I’ve said this time and time again – we know that the most dangerous thing about cannabis in Wisconsin is that it remains illegal. For the past decade, I have worked to undo Wisconsin’s antiquated and deeply-unjust marijuana policies and put our state on a prosperous path forward," said Senator Agard. “This proposal will not only allow Wisconsin to right past wrongs, it will bring us in line with our neighbors and create countless opportunities to grow our economy and attract people to our state. Right now, we are seeing our hard earned money go across the border to Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year. That is money we could be reinvesting to help support our friends and neighbors and make our state a place where people want to live, work, and play.”
“Legalizing cannabis is a matter of public safety and racial justice here in Wisconsin. People in Wisconsin indulge in cannabis use, and deserve the ability to buy safe cannabis and use it responsibly without being criminalized. According to the ACLU, Black people were 4.24 times more likely to be arrested than white people in Wisconsin during 2018. Similar disparities exist in convictions, leading to immeasurable harm to black communities in Wisconsin. The bill we’ve introduced today lays a solid foundation for those that have been harshly convicted for non-violent possession charges and the ramifications of those convictions," said Representative Madison.
A Marquette Law School poll from late 2022 found 64% of Wisconsin residents support cannabis legalization. However, Republican state legislators, who have a majority in both the state House and Senate, have signaled they will not support the legalization of recreational cannabis.