Dane County Board to consider cannabis legalization advisory referendum for November ballot

Posted: June 7, 2018 by Gary Storck
Category: Elections

UPDATED: 06/09/2018 7:49:17 AM: Dane County District 6 Supervisor Yogesh Chawla introduced county board resolution # 2018 RES-064, which would place to an advisory referendum on cannabis legalization before Dane County voters in the Nov. 6 general election, during the County Board's Thursday June 7 meeting .

Res-064 has 19 sponsors: Yogesh Chawla, Jeff Pertl, Tanya Buckingham, Kelly Danner, Patrick Downing, Analiese Eicher, Chuck Erickson, Richard Kilmer, Jason Knoll, Dorothy Krause, Patrick Miles, Paul Nelson, Steven Peters, Michele Ritt, Bob Salov, Andrew Schauer, Shelia Stubbs, Matt Veldran, Heidi Wegleitner, and Hayley Young.

The resolution next heads to the Exceutive committee for a debate and vote before coming back to the full county board, probably at the board's July 12 meeting.

"States all across the country are legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis. Wisconsin could use this tax revenue to help fund our crumbling infrastructure and public education. Legalization and regulation would also provide people who are suffering the medicine they need while allowing critical research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

The stats are clear that African Americans are disproportionately arrested for use and possession and the consequences of this have a life long impact. It is time for sensible cannabis reform in Wisconsin." - Dane County District 6 Supervisor Yogesh Chawla.

Here is the resolution that will be introduced:


If the advisory referendum proposal is approved, Dane County voters will find this question on their ballots:

"Should marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?"

The move comes on the heels of a vote by the full Milwaukee County Board May 24 to place a cannabis legalization advisory referendum on Milwaukee County ballots Nov. 6. The proposal previously passed out of committee on a 5-0 vote May 10.

Milwaukee County voters will see this question Nov. 6: "Do you favor allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana, while also regulating commercial marijuana-related activities, and imposing a tax on the sale of marijuana?"

The Dane County Board previously placed two cannabis advisory referendums before county voters.

On Nov. 2, 2010, Dane County voters were asked, "Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

The referendum passed by a landslide, winning in every ward in the county with a total 159,454 votes, 75.49% voting yes versus 51,748 no votes, 24.50% of the vote.

On April 1, 2014, Dane County voters passed Dane County Referendum #2 which asked, "Should the state government enact legislation legalizing marijuana?" Voters favored it by a 64.5% to 35.5% margin,40,980 yes votes to 22,546 against.

Recently, Rock County District 15 Supervisor Yuri Rashkin, who was elected to the Rock County Board in April, told the Janesville Gazette that he is planning to introduce an advisory referendum on Nov. 6 asking county voters if Wisconsin should legalize cannabis. Rashkin said the referendum is still being tweaked and that he planned to introduce it "in the next little while." Cannabadger will be following up on this story.

***This is a Developing Story and will be updated***