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Marijuana legalization discussion on La Crosse County Board agenda Thursday



Marijuana is on the agenda for the La Crosse County Board. 

Supervisors on Thursday night will be asked to schedule an advisory referendum for November, urging the state to make marijuana legal. 

A similar referendum in 2018 passed in the county with a 63 percent vote, but the legislature did not take action on the idea. Fifteen other counties also passed similar referendums that year — most by wide margins.

Republicans did host a committee in mid-April on legalizing medical marijuana. That hearing came a month after the Legislature had adjourned for the year and would have had to call for a special session to bring it for a vote. The GOP-controlled state Legislature isn’t back in session until January of 2023 — over a nine-month hiatus.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, Illinois and all of Canada. Also, Minnesota just legalized THC edibles and already has medical marijuana.

La Crosse County Board chair Monica Kruse said a week ago during a committee meeting on the plan that Wisconsin could benefit financially from decriminalizing marijuana. 

“The whole idea that criminalization of marijuana hasn’t worked, it’s filled up our prisons, it has cost the state a lot of money,” Kruse said.

Republicans argue that the 2018 referendum was a gimmick to bring Democrats to the polls in a year when Wisconsin elected a Democratic governor, and they think liberals may be trying the same thing this year.

Several Wisconsin counties are planning referendums again this fall to get the issue before the state legislature.

In 2020, the La Crosse city council established a $1 fine for possessing up to 25 grams of weed, over objections from local police.

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  1. R head

    July 21, 2022 at 7:08 am

    If you legalize pot you can watch people standing on street corners smoking joints would really be good for tourists!

  2. Lucenut

    July 21, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Another transparent attempt to drive dwindling demonic-rat voters to the polls. These county supervisors should be ashamed of themselves.

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