Andy believes there are many reasons why Wisconsin should legalize marijuana and would support it enthusiastically if it passed a statewide referendum. There is ample evidence showing: 1) marijuana effectively addresses a variety of medical conditions; 2) opioid use is substantially reduced in states like Colorado where marijuana has been legalized and; 3) criminalizing marijuana for recreational use poses an enormous personal and societal cost, and does so disproportionately to communities of color.
Marijuana has proven to offer medicinal benefits for people suffering from chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, epilepsy, and many other illnesses. Instead of recognizing these benefits, Gov. Walker sees this differently. He has Wisconsin’s prison system overflowing with offenders — many of whom are locked up on non-violent, marijuana-related charges. Walker’s policies are destroying families unnecessarily burdened by loved ones incarcerated for minor infractions. And, the real cost to Wisconsin taxpayers is countless millions of dollars that could be more productively directed to institutions throughout our state that have been starved of financial resources.
Andy prefers to treat drug addiction with rehabilitation programs that get people back on their feet and trained for good-paying jobs available right now throughout Wisconsin. It’s time to stop locking people up for these types of non-violent crimes and wasting tax dollars on law enforcement, adjudication, incarceration, and all of the other direct and indirect costs to Wisconsin families.
When governor Andy will:
- Put legalizing marijuana to a statewide referendum and enthusiastically support the full legalization of marijuana if passed by Wisconsin voters;
- Properly regulate and tax the sale of marijuana to create a fund for education, jobs training, rehabilitation programs, and to battle the distribution and sale of illegal drugs;
- Comprehensively review all cases involving persons with current or past convictions for marijuana-related, non-violent crimes and, when appropriate, advocate for early release and expungement of their criminal records.