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Gov. candidate Mike McCabe makes the most vocal case for pot legalization

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In a crowded field of Democratic candidates for governor in Wisconsin, you can expect some variations on whether or how marijuana should be legalized.

Mike McCabe, who appears to be setting himself apart as the most vocally in favor of full legalization of marijuana, says it’s time for sales to come out of the black market.

“It would just be way more beneficial to our society, bring it above ground,” McCabe said. “Have it sold in licensed dispensaries. Tax the legal sales.

“Wisconsin could raise upwards of $200 million a year that we could put to constructive use in our society.”

McCabe also sees drug laws in Wisconsin as failing but leading to mass incarceration. 

“Wisconsin has a state budget that spends more on prisons than on the entire university system, and that is driven, in part, by our drug laws,” McCabe said. “A second marijuana possession charge is a felony. … It costs $30,000 a prisoner for taxpayers.”

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Other Democratic candidates for governor have also agreed to legalization of selling and smoking marijuana. Some of them, however, have made that conditional on things like the outcome of a referendum or the establishment of significant controls for selling.

Candidates Mahlon Mitchell, Matt Flynn and Dana Wachs say they’re on board with recreational pot use. So is superintendent of Schools Tony Evers and businessman Andy Gronik, as long as voters approve in a referendum.

Flynn, a businessman, said he not only favors legalization but pardoning those who’ve been convicted of pot possession.

McCabe says it just makes no sense to keep it illegal.

“People have shown if they want to use, they’ll use whether it’s legal or illegal,” McCabe said. “But we derive no public benefit from that use.”

The polls say a big majority in the state favors full legalization.

Regulated marijuana sales in North America totaled $6.7 billion in 2016, and could increase to an estimated $20.2 billion by 2021, according to Arcview Market Research from AZBigMedia. In Arizona, there was nearly $280 million of medical cannabis sales in 2016, which generated roughly $30 million in tax revenue.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Peter Tosh

    March 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Mike McCabe is the man! He is by far the best of the Democratic candidates to take out Career Politician Scott Walker!

    Dump Walker 2018! Legalize weed!

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