Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

MADISON — Senate Democratic Leader Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Representative Darrin B. Madison (D-Milwaukee) have jointly introduced legislation aimed at legalizing the responsible adult use of cannabis in Wisconsin. This proposed bill, if enacted, would bring Wisconsin into alignment with thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia that have already enacted comprehensive cannabis legalization laws.

Senator Agard emphasized, “I’ve reiterated this point time and time again – the most significant risk associated with cannabis in Wisconsin is its continued prohibition. Over the past decade, I have consistently worked to reverse Wisconsin's outdated and inequitable marijuana policies, paving the way for a more prosperous future for our state.

“This proposal not only provides an opportunity for Wisconsin to rectify past injustices but also brings us in line with our neighboring states. It presents numerous prospects for economic growth and attracting individuals to our state. Currently, we are witnessing our hard-earned money flow across the border to Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, amounting to tens of millions of dollars annually. These funds could be reinvested to support our communities and make Wisconsin an even more appealing place to live, work, and play.”

Representative Madison added, “The legalization of cannabis is a matter of public safety and racial justice here in Wisconsin. People in our state use cannabis, and they deserve the option to purchase safe cannabis and consume it responsibly without facing criminal penalties. According to the ACLU, in 2018, Black individuals in Wisconsin were 4.24 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related offenses than white individuals. Similar disparities exist in convictions, resulting in immeasurable harm to Black communities in our state. The bill we are introducing today lays a strong foundation for addressing the harsh convictions stemming from non-violent possession charges and their consequences.”

Senator Agard concluded, “Wisconsin is prepared for cannabis legalization – with 69% of Wisconsinites, including a majority of Republicans, expressing support for full marijuana legalization. It is long overdue for our state to acknowledge the majority's will and embrace the numerous positive economic and societal advantages that come with cannabis legalization. Let us join the more than half of the nation that has already chosen to move beyond the outdated policies of prohibition and aim higher in our expectations.”