The Wisconsin legislature introduced a bipartisan bill Oct. 18 proposing the legalization of medical marijuana, but the economic effects may not be as large as hoped, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum.
Wisconsin is one of the few states in the area without its own concrete marijuana legislation outside of federal bounds, and three out of its four surrounding states have either legalized marijuana for medical use or for full use, according to The Cap Times.
In a statement to Milwaukee Public Media, Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison said, “Many of the Midwestern states surrounding us are either medicinal or full legalization … it’s going to have a negative impact on the state of Wisconsin.”
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Proponents of the bill, including Sargent, see this as a disadvantage for Wisconsin’s state revenues, as nearby legalization could cause residents to go elsewhere for their marijuana use in medical or recreational format, according to WUWM 89.7.
Wisconsin Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee said the recreational use of marijuana is not likely to pass in the Republican majority legislature.
“Until there is a shift in the number of Democrats in the legislature, recreational marijuana faces an uphill fight,” Taylor said.
Taylor said since it is more likely for a bill legalizing medical marijuana to pass over recreational use, it would be difficult for the state to expect to bring in revenues from this.
With medical marijuana legalization being the most likely route, the state would directly receive little to no tax revenues under Sargent’s plan.
“Under my legislation to legalize cannabis in Wisconsin, medical marijuana would not be taxed,” Sargent said. “Therefore, the expected tax revenue associated with