Wisconsin governor to propose decriminalization of marijuana

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) says he will propose decriminalizing the possession of marijuana in his annual state budget proposal this year, adding that he will also propose expunging the criminal records of those who have completed their sentences for the charge.

In a press release Monday, the governor also announced that he would seek to align the state's regulations on cannabidiol, or CBD oil, with federal standards.

ADVERTISEMENT

"As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge,” Evers said at a press conference Monday. “People shouldn't be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering."

"Too many people, often persons of color, spend time in our criminal justice system just for possessing small amounts of marijuana. That doesn't make our communities stronger or safer," he continued. "This shouldn't be a Republican issue or Democratic issue, and I look forward to working on both sides of the aisle to pass this proposal in my budget."

The proposals could possibly face resistance in the state's Legislature, as both the state Senate and General Assembly are currently controlled by Republicans.

If signed into law, the proposals would decriminalize possession or manufacturing up to 25 grams of marijuana and would prevent local ordinances from creating their own standards on the drug.

Evers's proposal comes just over a week after a Democratic senator introduced a bill to “responsibly legalize, tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level."

“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple," Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenManning: Additional Assange charges are feds 'using the law as a sword' Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Democratic senator warns of threat to press freedom in new Assange charges MORE (D-Ore.) said earlier this month. "Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed."