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Gov. Tony Evers proposes legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin as part of biennial budget

Posted at 7:56 AM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 09:10:18-05

In his 2021-2023 biennial budget proposal outlined Sunday, Gov. Tony Evers is proposing legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin.

Evers is proposing the regulation and taxing of marijuana, "much like Wisconsin regulates and taxes alcohol."

The governor's proposal would invest revenue into equity initiatives and rural schools.

“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state,” said Evers. “Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”

Under the governor’s proposal, marijuana would be taxed and regulated by both the Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

The proposal would require the sale of marijuana for recreational use to be sold by a permitted marijuana retailer. Residents would need to be 21 years old to purchase marijuana for recreational use.

Under this proposal, Wisconsin residents cannot possess more than two ounces of marijuana and six plants for personal use.

According to Evers, legalizing marijuana is expected to generate more than $165 million annually.

The governor's proposal is unlikely to find success in Wisconsin's legislature, where Republicans control both chambers. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said just last month said he was open to the idea of legalizing cannabis for medical use, but not recreational, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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