(WAOW) — It’s been an ongoing debate all over the county, and now neighboring state Illinois is inching toward passing legalization that would allow adults to buy and possess small amounts of marijuana.
Whether or not it will lead to Wisconsin allowing it, however, is still in question.
With the popularity of CBD products everywhere, many are left to wonder if recreational legalization of marijuana will come next.
“We need to make sure we keep those two spheres separately,” said State Sen. Patrick Testin (R) Stevens Point. “When we passed Act 100, we were trying to educate our legislators and law enforcement that hemp is not marijuana and marijuana is not hemp.”
Sen. Testin said he understands the need for medical marijuana, but recreational use is something he said Wisconsin isn’t ready for.
“When it comes to recreation, I’m just not there. We are still looking at data from states that have gone recreational; I know in states like Colorado, you have seen a spike in OWI offenses,” he said.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has been very vocal about his support for legalizing medical marijuana in the badger state, as well as decriminalizing small amounts for recreational use.
“I think people want to have this conversation; other states have moved forward on it. I think they are great laboratories right now to see what they are doing well and what they might be missing,” said Rep.Ron Kind (D) 3rd District.
News 9 wanted to see what some residents had to say about Wisconsin possibly following in the steps of Illinois.
“I think that it has potential to be something that people can get into that is less dangerous than some of the other things that are around here,” said Wausau resident Molly Cantrall. “I’m also an advocate to say it’s less dangerous than alcohol.”
“I think we spend too much money enforcing laws and incarcerating people for use on what seems to be a not very harmful drug,” said Micah Henning of Madison.
Officials advise that if legalization does happen in Illinois, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in Wisconsin, so travelers will not be permitted to bring it back across state lines.