Letter to the Editor: Cannabis reform in Wisconsin 2023

Dear Editor: 

Governor Evers has paved the way for the legalization of cannabis in Wisconsin — both recreational and medicinally — as he has made it a part of the 2023-2025 budget. Now is the time for us to put pressure on those in charge to keep it within the budget.

Wisconsin is quickly becoming an island of prohibition where DUIs are at all-time highs and fentanyl overdoses are claiming lives left and right. This letter is to discuss the absolute need for Wisconsin to provide for cannabis legalization in 2023. This is a matter of human rights and the people of Wisconsin have spoken over and over again, and yet our politicians continue to ignore our requests.

Referendum supported by vast majority

In 2020, there was a nonbinding statewide referendum regarding cannabis legalization in Wisconsin, and 88% of those who voted were in support. The issue of cannabis legalization in Wisconsin is a nonpartisan issue and it is time that we the people have the right to have it without fear of retribution.

Cannabis has been shown to be medicinally beneficial for many different symptoms related to ailments such as autism, alcohol addiction, cancer, chronic pain, opioid dependency, PTSD, rheumatoid arthritis, seizures, etc. Wisconsin is currently one of five states that do not have a medical cannabis program to provide to our children who suffer from debilitating diseases. The children of this state are being forced to use pharmaceuticals that can have harmful, unpleasant side effects, instead of utilizing medical cannabis, which is effective with minimal side effects.

Cannabis legalization brings in significant revenue

Governor Evers has also allocated funds from the taxes received through the sale of cannabis to go back into mental health services and addiction programs that will be administered at the county level. Future uses of these funds will be determined by the legislature.

In the fiscal year 2022, Illinois reported $445 million in revenue through the sales of recreational cannabis. What other brand-new untapped revenue source has that type of return on investment for Wisconsin? If there is one, please bring it forward. Please contact your representatives and ask them to keep cannabis legalization in the 2023-2025 budget; lives depend on it.

Sincerely, Steffany Caputo

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