Wisconsin is making headlines as Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Melissa Agard and Rep. Darrin B. Madison, introduce a groundbreaking bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. This move could bring the state in line with the 23 others that have already ended marijuana prohibition.
What The Bill Entails
If the bill successfully passes through the legislature, it would mean that adults aged 21 and older can legally use and possess up to five ounces of marijuana. One of the remarkable aspects of the bill is its intention to replace criminal penalties for possession for those under 21 with fines, and eliminate felony charges for possessing more than five ounces.
Regulation And Taxation
The bill extends its scope by proposing the regulation of production, distribution, and sale of marijuana and cannabis products. Moreover, it opens the door for the establishment of cannabis consumption lounges, subject to local control. Taxation plays a pivotal role in this proposed system, with a 15% excise tax at the wholesale level for producers, a 10% tax on sales for retailers and lounges, and medical marijuana sales remaining tax-free. Crucially, 60% of tax revenue generated from cannabis taxes will be allocated to fund community reinvestment grants.
Addressing Past Convictions
The bill goes a step further by addressing past convictions related to now-legal offenses. Misdemeanor convictions would be dismissed, expunged, or reduced, while felony convictions would undergo a similar review.
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Push For Racial Justice
The drive for legalization in Wisconsin is also motivated by concerns of racial justice. Data from the ACLU reveals that in 2018, Black individuals in Wisconsin were over four times more likely to face marijuana charges compared to their white counterparts.
Challenges And Hurdles
Despite strong public support for marijuana legalization in the state (69% of Wisconsinites are in favor), the bill faces a significant hurdle. It must win approval from the Republican-majority legislature, which has been hesitant to embrace cannabis reform. However, with neighboring states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota reaping the benefits of legalization, proponents are hopeful that Wisconsin will soon follow suit.
For the latest updates on this legislation and the broader cannabis landscape, stay tuned to The420Lifestyle. Our mission is to keep you informed about the changing cannabis landscape, so don’t miss out on the latest developments! 🏛️🌿