2022 Fall Cannabis Referendum Results
I covered the 2022 Wisconsin Marijuana Referendums and candidate implications in an earlier blog. Wisconsin Cannabis Activists predicted high support for these referendums and voters validated our work.
It is important to note Wisconsin does not have a state wide binding ballot initiative. That means we cannot collect signatures to force the issue at the state level. All referendums are non-binding and do not force any action. Think of these referendums as a record of voters support of an issue, much like public opinion.
Marijuana legalization including sales needs to be done at the state level through the legislative process. How a bill becomes law is important to understand when advocating for cannabis reform in Wisconsin at the state level.
Here are the results, along with the questions / wording of the referendums that were on local ballot in Wisconsin for the November 8th, 2022 general election.
APPROVED 81.9% — Dane County: “Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older?”
APPROVED 82.2% — Dane County: “Should all records of previous convictions for marijuana possession in small amounts in the State of Wisconsin be expunged?”
APPROVED 68.7% — Eau Claire County: “Should cannabis be legalized for adult use by Wisconsin residents at least 21 years of age, and in addition, be taxed and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol possession and use?”
APPROVED 74.37% — Milwaukee County: “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?”
APPROVED 68.54% — Appleton: “Should marijuana be legalized for use by those 21 and over, taxed, and regulated like alcohol in the State of Wisconsin?”
APPROVED 71.93% — Kenosha: “Should marijuana be legalized for adult use, taxed, and regulated like alcohol?”
APPROVED 76.06% — Racine: “Should marijuana be legalized for adult-use, taxed, and regulated like alcohol?”
APPROVED 74.35% — Stevens Point: “Should marijuana be legalized for adult-use, taxed, and regulated like alcohol in the State of Wisconsin?”
APPROVED 79.67% — Superior: “Should marijuana be legalized for adults over the age of 21, taxed, and regulated like alcohol?”
In the Spring of 2022, the City of Ashland also passed a recreational marijuana referendum by 60%.
What is next?
Unlike legalization of marijuana sales that needs to be done at a state level, decriminalization measures can be carried out at a more local level.
If local leaders are responsive to what their local citizens say, then we should see a huge amount of movement on the local decriminalization end, through either a city or county initiative
At the local level, Wisconsin is comprised of 72 counties and 595 municipalities. These entities are allowed to govern and make rule by authority for 25 grams of marijuana or less in their jurisdictions. The statutes are 59.54(25)(a) for counties and 66.0107 for municipalities.
Counties and Municipalities (Cities, Towns and Villages) can pass resolutions supporting cannabis reform and also place non-binding referendum on local ballots, such as the ones mentioned above.
If you are interested in becoming a Cannabis Activist and working at the local level, please do not hesitate to volunteer today.