Five of Six Wisconsin county boards, voting on the same day, passed cannabis advisory referendums for the Nov. 6 ballot. Langlade, Marquette, Forest, Eau Claire and Kenosha counties now join the nine other counties that previously adopted advisory referendum proposals. The combined estimated 2016 population of the nine counties already approved is 2,095,117. The combined estimated population of the counties approving referendums Aug. 21 is 315,630. That means that with Racine County still to vote, the combined estimated 2016 population of the 14 counties that have approved referendums is 2,410,747, while the total estimated 2016 state population was 5.75 million.
The first to decide was Langlade County where the Board, in a meeting beginning at 9am, approved a medical cannabis referendum on a 17-2 vote with one member absent, and one abstaining. The question that will appear on Langlade County ballots Nov. 6 is: “Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?”
Things did not go well in Fond du Lac County, where after a contentious meeting, voted 15-8 to refer advisory referendum to committee on a motion by District 23 Sup. Martin Ryan. The vote came after members of the public spoke both in favor and against. Timothy Ramthun who recently won the Republican primary for the District 59 state assembly seat and is running unopposed this Nov., was one of those who spoke in opposition, citing among other things, the tired refrain that it was a state matter. After supervisors took up the debate, with several attacking the referendum, there was an outburst from attendees, and according to an attendee, sheriffs removed at least one person from the chambers.
The Forest County Board, meeting in Crandon, approved a medical cannabis referendum by a 17-4 margin. Forest County, on the Michigan-Wisconsin border, is the northernmost county of the 20 counties who have discussed cannabis advisory referendums this summer. The question Forest County voters will find on their Nov. 6 ballots is: “Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?”
In Eau Claire County, board members passed the advisory referendum proposal by Sup. Gerry Wilkie on a 20-4 vote. Nine members of the public spoke in favor of the referendum and none expressed opposition at Tuesday’s meeting.
The Eau Claire county referendum will ask county residents whether cannabis should be legal for adults 21 and older for recreational or medical use, be legal for medical purposes only and available only by prescription or remain a criminally illegal drug as provided under current law.
In Montello, the Marquette County Board, meeting in Montello, approved a medical cannabis referendum by a narrow 9-8 margin.
The last county voting on Aug. 21 was Kenosha County with a 7:30pm start. An attendee who testified in favor reported there was about 40 minutes of citizen comments, with all in favor. The medical cannabis referendum passed easily on a 13-8 vote.
The question that will be appearing on Kenosha County ballots Nov. 6 is “Should the State of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes, if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?”
On Aug. 28, Racine County will be the final county to vote when they take up the cannabis advisory referendum proposal sponsored by Supervisors Fabi Maldonado and Nick Demske at 6:30pm at 14200 Washington Ave., Sturtevant.
Previous Cannabadger coverage of Wisconsin county advisory referendums: