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Referendum redundancy: La Crosse County Board sees no need for a new ballot question about marijuana

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Another referendum on marijuana?  What’s the point? 

The La Crosse County Board has taken that attitude, turning down a plan for a fall referendum on legalizing pot in Wisconsin. 

The board vote was close, 16-12 against having a referendum in November which would cost $5,000 to place on the ballot. 

Ralph Geary was one of those opposing the ballot issue, mainly because a similar referendum passed easily in 2018.

“It wasn’t like 50 percent, 49 percent referendum, where maybe we don’t know if it will switch back the other way,” Geary told the board Thursday. “It could pass overwhelmingly again.”

The previous referendum was approved by 63 percent from county voters. 

A new referendum was proposed as a message to state lawmakers, to get them to consider legal marijuana as a new source of revenue for Wisconsin. The legislation has taken no action on legalization since the 2018 votes in 16 counties all passed, most by overwhelming margins.

According to one theory from critics, the pot question mainly seems aimed at bringing out more Democratic voters for key fall elections.

Supervisor Jack Pogreba says there’s no point to it, if state legislators aren’t going to be swayed.

“It’s like, you know, I want to get out of work, I’m going to bang my head on a wall so I can say I have a headache,” Pogreba said. “Why would we want to keep on running a resolution if nothing happens?”

Several board members objected to the $5,000 cost of a referendum, saying that money could be put to better use.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Chip DeNure

    July 22, 2022 at 7:11 am

    Good work, Brad.

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