Wisconsin governor introducing recreational, medical marijuana as part of state next budget

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Gov. Tony Evers will propose to legalize recreational and medical marijuana as part of his 2021-2023 budget. Under the proposal, the governor’s office says Wisconsin would regulate and tax marijuana sales and join 15 other states, including neighboring Michigan and Illinois, in legalizing marijuana.

“Legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin—just like we do already with alcohol—ensures a controlled market and safe product are available for both recreational and medicinal users and can open the door for countless opportunities for us to reinvest in our communities and create a more equitable state,” said Evers in a statement, ahead of his budget proposal press conference. “Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites.”

Some vape shop managers in Hudson say they support the efforts to legalize marijuana.

The general manager of “Vape Pros” in Hudson, Michael Weis, says he supports the idea, with some reservations.

Evers’ budget proposal would legalize recreational marijuana

“They might as well legalize it and make money off of it,” Weis said. “As long as the taxes are fair and similar to other adult-use products, I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with it.”

Historically, many Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have rejected similar proposals, and many say they won’t support the plan.

But some in Hudson say it’s time to follow the footsteps of other states.

Evers calls for more education spending, $1 billion tax hike

“I think there is so much value to marijuana as a medicine, recreational use, whatever that may be,” Ella Kressel said. “I think weed has become more normalized, in a sense.”

“It should not be criminalized because I just think it’s so minimal and so many people use it,” Ryan Wagner said.

The governor’s office says legalizing marijuana is expected to generate more than $165-million annually, beginning in 2023.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Wisconsin Republican Senate majority leader Devin LeMahieu. LeMahieu’s office expects to release a statement following the governor’s budget address at 7 p.m.