Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) is including cannabis legalization in his 2021-2022 budget proposal, MyStateline.com reports. The plan includes possession limits for residents up to two ounces and allows cultivation up to six plants but would allow non-residents to possess only a quarter ounce.
“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. 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.” – Evers, in a statement, via MyStateline
The Governor’s Office estimates that legal cannabis would generate more than $165 million annually starting in fiscal year 2023. The plan would earmark $80 million of cannabis-derived revenues for a new community reinvestment fund, including $30 million in social equity grants through the Department of Health Services, the Department of Administration, and the Department of Children and Families, $5 million in grants to underserved communities through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and more than $34 million for rural school districts, the Governor’s Office said. The remaining funds would be deposited into the state’s general fund.
Evers joins New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, in including adult-use reforms in the executive budget proposal. Democratic governors Ned Lamont in Connecticut and Lujan Grisham in New Mexico have also called for the reforms as lawmakers begin their 2021 legislative sessions.
In Wisconsin, both chambers of the legislature are controlled by Republicans. The leaders of both chambers, Devin LeMahieu in the Senate and Jim Steineke in the House, each received “F” grades from NORML due to their opposition to cannabis law reforms.
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