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Wisconsin Justice Institute launches Vote Cannabis 2018 website

The Wisconsin Justice Institute (WJI), a key player in coordinating the campaign to place advisory referendums on cannabis legalization on Wisconsin city and county ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, recently premiered a new website Vote Cannabis 2018 (https://votecannabis2018.com/)

The Wisconsin Justice Institute created Vote Cannabis 2018 to serve as a hub for individuals and organizations to help coordinate county-level efforts between a variety of pro-cannabis individuals and organizations that support legalization.

Cannabadger talked to Andrew Hysell, a consultant for WJI who created the site. Hysell was recruited by WJI board member Terry Polich, a Madison attorney, to work on the county cannabis advisory referendum campaign. Hysell said WJI’s connection to legalization stems from their commitment to criminal justice reform.

Hysell told Cannabadger the Wisconsin campaign was inspired by the 2014 cannabis advisory referendum campaign organized by the Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts (DPFM). DPFM was able to place cannabis advisory questions on the ballot in 8 Massachusetts state House districts on the November 4, 2014 election ballot, each favored by well over 50 percent of voters in all 8 districts. Massachusetts legalized adult use cannabis in a ballot initiative on November 8, 2016

Over the summer, Hysell and Polich worked together, reaching out to county supervisors, state and local advocates and others, providing information, technical assistance, testimony, etc. Thanks to this coordinated effort, voters in a total of 16 Wisconsin counties and two cities will have a chance to weigh in Nov. 6.

“County boards have taken an important first step and over 50% of the state’s population will have a chance to vote on cannabis this November 6th. We must work together to maximize the votes for legalization. Its critical that different types of advocates come together to educate voters and get them to the polls. We hope that people will visit www.votecannabis2018.com, to register yourself on the system and get your friends to do the same.” — Andrew Hysell

Vote Cannabis 2018 also has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinLibertyInitiative/

Cannabadger Bits:

Milwaukee County Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez’s proposal to study industrial hemp cultivation at Milwaukee County’s new state of the art greenhouses at Mitchell Park that we covered last week was approved by the Committee on Parks, Energy and Environment in a 4-0 vote on Sept. 14 and now heads to the full board for a vote on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 9:30am in Courthouse Room 200.

Door County: Although they did not approve a county cannabis advisory referendum in time for the Nov. 6 ballot, the Door County Board is still studying placing one on the Spring 2019 election ballot, according to a report from DoorCountyNews.com.

Green Bay: The Green Bay Press Gazette reports the city council is looking at easing local penalties for possession of cannabis. Under the current ordinance, those cited for possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis face fines up to $1,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months. Alder Randy Scannell has proposed the maximum fine be cut to $500, eliminating license suspensions, and perhaps most significantly, ending a requirement that a possession conviction count as the person’s first drug offense in the state. Under current state law, the second offense for cannabis possession is a felony.

Cannabadger coverage of Wisconsin county advisory referendums:

23) UPDATED: Racine and Lincoln make 16 counties approving Nov. 6 cannabis advisory referendum 
22) Racine County Board to vote August 28 on Cannabis Advisory Referendum
21) Five of six Wisconsin county boards approve cannabis advisory referendums for Nov. 6 ballot
20) Six more Wisconsin counties to vote on cannabis advisory referendums August 21
19) Portage County approves cannabis advisory referendum on 22-1 vote
18) Racine County Board moves cannabis advisory referendum one step closer plus other updates
17) St. Croix board rejects referendum 9-8, Racine county committee okays board vote
16) Portage and Forest County Committees Advance Referendums To Full Board
15) County Advisory Referendum Updates: Langlade, Eau Claire, Racine, Portage and more
14) Marathon County Board approves medical cannabis referendum 19-15
13) Marathon County Board to vote July 24 on medical cannabis advisory referendum
12) La Crosse sixth Wisconsin county to ok November cannabis advisory referendum
11) Brown County board approves medical cannabis advisory referendum
10) Sauk is 4th Wisconsin county to approve Nov. 6 cannabis advisory referendum
9) Dane County is third county to approve November cannabis advisory vote
8) Brown, St. Croix, Langlade and Sauk county cannabis advisory referendums head to full board votes
7) Langlade and Walworth join 8 other counties looking at cannabis advisory referendums
6) Cannabis legalization advisory referendum update: Rock County approves, other counties moving forward
5) Wisconsin County Cannabis Legalization Advisory Referendums moving forward across state
4) More Wisconsin counties looking at advisory referendums on pot legalization
3) Dane County Board to consider cannabis legalization advisory referendum for November ballot
2) Full Milwaukee County Board OKs cannabis legalization advisory referendum for November ballot
1) Milwaukee County Board committee OKs pot legalization referendum proposal; sends to full board for vote
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