A trio of Wisconsin lawmakers traveled across the state line to an Illinois cannabis store on Tuesday to announce the filing of new legislation to legalize marijuana for adults in their own state.
The three Wisconsin Democrats—Sen. Melissa Agard and Reps. David Bowen and Mark Spreitzer—held the event outside a dispensary in South Beloit, Illinois, which sits on the border with Wisconsin. They were joined by Beloit City Council President Clinton Anderson (D).
“All you have to do is look right that way and you’ll see the state of Wisconsin,” Agard said from the Sunnsyide cannabis shop’s parking lot, gesturing north and describing her state as “an island of prohibition.” She pointed out that a number of the vehicles in the parking lot had Wisconsin plates and shared that some of the store’s employees were in fact Wisconsin residents.
Wisconsin is one of a shrinking number of states that have not yet legalized marijuana for either medical or adult use.
“It’s past time to get this done for our communities,” Agard said, noting that only a few years ago colleagues advised her to avoid the issue as a lawmaker. “As we stand here today, it’s safe to say the landscape has changed.”
The bill would legalize, tax and regulate sales of cannabis to adults 21 and older in Wisconsin, bringing the state in line with neighboring Illinois and Michigan, where cannabis is already legal. Adult residents could possess no more than two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use, while visitors from out of state could possess no more than one-quarter ounce.
The plan also creates a path for medical marijuana patients to access cannabis products without having to pay tax. To qualify, individuals 18 and older would need to be diagnosed by a physician