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During Onalaska visit, Gov. Evers talks marijuana legalization in Wisconsin



FILE - Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a campaign stop, Oct. 27, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

How long can Wisconsin hold out as a state where the sale of marijuana is illegal?

Gov. Tony Evers hopes legalization will happen — within a few years.

Just a few days after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz passed Democratic legislation legalizing recreational marijuana in his state, the question has come up again in Wisconsin.

Evers told La Crosse area reporters last week that the idea of legal marijuana is very popular around the state.

“Any polling shows, and any advisory referendum shows that the people of Wisconsin want legalized marijuana,” Evers said.

“We are now an island,” he added, as Wisconsin is surrounded legalized recreational marijuana in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Canada, while Iowa has legalized medical.

Evers wants to prevent Wisconsin residents from spending their money in bordering states to buy marijuana, but Republicans have been opposed to almost all consideration.

The governor said any effort to legalize marijuana will have to overcome strong Republican opposition.

Back in April, Republicans, who control the state Legislature, were said to be working privately on a medical marijuana bill. Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos, however, wouldn’t divulge the representatives who were drafting a bill, which died in committee.

Ten days later, Republicans killed a large portion of Evers’ budget, including legalizing recreational marijuana in Wisconsin.

“There’s some hope, though, on the issue of medicinal marijuana, but at the end of the day, the large money is made from the recreational marijuana,” Evers said.

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. Mary butler

    June 5, 2023 at 6:42 am

    You should legalized Marijuana the jail would have less people and people will not be crossing sta r e lines too get it. I do not smoke or use drugs people will get it less problems for Mexican people

  2. Tom

    June 5, 2023 at 8:11 am

    Tobacco – BAD. MJ – GOOD. Got it.

    • John Thomas

      June 6, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      Actually, you’ve got it, but don’t realize it. More than 8 million people die from tobacco smoke every year. — NO ONE has ever died from consuming cannabis. That makes it safer than aspirin, caffeine and peanuts.

      What irony, that that is probably the most profoundly true statement you have ever made.

  3. R head

    June 5, 2023 at 8:46 am

    That just what we need people standing on every street corner smoking a joint? Maybe the homeless will like it. Maybe we could supply them with needles,Oh we already do that.

    • Ryan H

      June 5, 2023 at 10:09 am


    • John Thomas

      June 6, 2023 at 11:52 pm

      So, by your “logic,” since alcohol is legal, people are standing on every street corner, drinking alcohol? – Actually, even many of the homeless know that cannabis is vastly more healthy than alcohol or tobacco. – Do some real reading on the topic. Forget the mountains of bogus Reefer Madness propaganda thrown at us by a lying government for 86 years.

    • John bender

      June 9, 2023 at 12:45 pm

      Wow… Your stuck in the 1950s bri.. refer madness!! Fact… marijuana is a much safer drug than Marijuana…

    • Jesse Oakley

      June 17, 2023 at 12:12 pm

      Your an idiot. Get real, smoking is for indoors only. Any body cought outside would face charges. As far as needles, that’s Ludacris anyone would support a drug where you stick your self with it for a high. Pot is harmless And alcohol kills. So keep pushing your alcohol.

  4. nick

    June 5, 2023 at 9:13 am

    We spent decades reducing cigarette intake which was proven to cause respiratory problems including cancer and heart disease.
    Smoking marijuana is more potent than cigarettes.
    In addition, it hinders proper brain development and that is based on statements by the CDC.
    China and Mexico must be laughing their ass off; they bring in the opioids and dope and we gladly destroy our health.
    You think China has a drug problem- probably not.

    • John Thomas

      June 6, 2023 at 11:57 pm

      Sorry, wrong on all counts, but you probably know that. There are many prohibition profiteers that spread mis-information about cannabis. — More than 8 million people die EACH year from the damage done by tobacco smoke. — NO ONE has ever died from smoking cannabis.

      The country’s leading researcher of marijuana and lung disease, UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin, conducted investigations over 30 years, initially believing there must be a causal relationship. But he finally concluded that smoking marijuana does NOT cause cancer or ANY other serious disease. 

      Tashkin said: “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even some suggestion of a protective effect.”
      Smoke is a moot issue anyway. If consumers want to avoid even the minor irritation from smoke, they can choose to partake with edibles or by vaporizers, which they are increasingly doing.

      Research has shown cannabis has no lasting, negative effect on the brain, developing or mature. In fact, studies found cannabis gives the brain more stamina, helps prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and similar brain disease and actually stimulates the production of new brain cells.

      The truth is the REAL science and widespread experience have shown cannabis has no significant harms.


    June 5, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    I call b*******. 38 million going To Illinois and Minnesota. Michigan.

  6. Jerry

    June 6, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Tom…yes correct.

    R Head, oh you mean running and exercising everyday instead of being a fat drunk sitting in a bar?

    Nick, they are called edibles, droppers and tinctures…where ya been? Also, no study has ever shown cannabis to cause cancer or destroy lives abd lings like tobacco. FACT. Right now Republicans are letting drug dealers sell weed to our kids in schools just like they did when I was 15 in middle school because they refuse to REGULATE. Now it will be even worse as every state around WI has ended the failure of prohibition. Enjoy the wild west free for all. You aren’t stopping a damn thing. 100 years pf prohibition hasn’t stopped a damn thing. Cannabis is safer and healthier than alcohol tobacco or sugar. Fact. It is a positive life affirming aspect of millions of peoples lives.
    Republicans war on this plant is over. The plant won!

  7. Tk

    June 7, 2023 at 7:22 am

    I’m with Jerry

  8. James

    June 22, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    We need weed for the people on probation I can’t smoke right now cuz I’m on probation and I have medical conditions and they have been getting worse and depression just wish Tony evers would really do something about this at least if not recreational legalizing small amounts would really help for us the people

  9. Arah

    July 19, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    This state is a joke! No jobs, no taxes, no education! GOP better wake up or I’ll take my tax dollars to another state in their entirety

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