Marijuana referendum results set stage for change

MILWAUKEE -- Voters in Southeast Wisconsin said yes for many of the marijuana advisory referendum questions.

To view the results, click here.

The marijuana referendum results themselves don't change state laws or city ordinances, but some believe they create a catalyst for change.

Racine Alderman John Tate II introduced the city’s referendum questions to the city council. 

“When you have 16 counties throughout the state saying, overwhelmingly saying this needs to occur, and then you have legislators saying well nobody wants this, someone is not telling the truth,” said Tate. 

Tate said the results show residents of Racine want to see some change when it comes to legalizing or decriminalizing the drug in some form or another. 

“70 plus percent say we need to decriminalize, so that means that we can start taking measures to reduce the consequences for possession as the state statutes allow us to,” Tate said. 

Not everyone is on board. One Racine resident TODAY’S TMJ4 spoke with didn’t want to be identified. She’s against legalizing marijuana for any kind of use. 

“I strongly feel it isn’t necessary to have that as a recreational outlet and what it does to kids, I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s upsetting,” the woman said. 

“But, it’s coming across the country, what are you going to do?” she said. 

Alderman Tate has already proposed reducing fines in Racine for those in possession of marijuana of under 25 grams and other proposals to decriminalize the drug. 

They haven’t passed yet but he thinks the referendum results will help. 

“I think it puts legislators who say this is not an issue that people are willing to stand up on or expect action on, on notice,” Tate said. 

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