From Bayview to Sherman Park, we all want our families to be whole and our communities to be vibrant.

But far too often — at cookouts and at ballfields, near our community centers and on our blocks — Milwaukee police lean on outdated cannabis laws to stop, harass and arrest Black and Brown people, in spite of the fact that cannabis use is similar across race. They weaponize these laws to force the separation of immigrant families, target and police youth, and make it less safe for all of us.

We can change all of that by coming together across Milwaukee — Black, white, and Brown — to create a city where we can all thrive.

City of Milwaukee Alders Lewis, Rainey, and Dimitrijevic are working on a bill to decriminalize cannabis and ensure that justice, safety, and community prevail for all in Wisconsin, no exceptions. This bill will allow the possession of up to 1oz of THC cannabis and cannabis derivatives, allow the possession of cannabis paraphernalia, and allow cannabis to be smoked wherever tobacco is allowed. It is the intention of this bill to reduce police interactions, stop cannabis arrests, and reduce the harms of cannabis prohibition while we continue to push for comprehensive change at the state. Madison passed a very similar ordinance in November, and we know we can pass it here if the public speaks up in support.

The bill is still being drafted, but we expect it to be introduced in time for it to get a vote in the Public Safety and Health Committee on 5/13. At that committee meeting, residents will have the opportunity to register in support of the bill and to speak in support if they would like. More information on how to sign up to do so will be made available once the bill is introduced and scheduled for committee.

While we continue to push for full legalization at the state level, and call on the Republicans who control the legislature to finally represent the will of their constituents on this issue, WI-CAN will be doing everything we can to reduce or remove penalties for marijuana possession at the local level across the state. Milwaukee is just the beginning.

If you live in the City of Milwaukee, we encourage you to contact your alder in support of this important and historic bill. You can contact them by filling out the form below or by calling the city council’s office at 414-286-2221.

If you would like to get more involved as a volunteer with WI-CAN and our efforts to legalize marijuana in Wisconsin, fill out the form below.