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
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: