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Could Wisconsin be next in legalizing marijuana now that Illinois has gone green?

(WAOW) — Residents in our neighboring state of Illinois now have the green light to buy and possess small amounts of marijuana starting in 2020.

Legalizing marijuana is an ongoing debate countrywide, and the Illinois governor is now making it legal for adults 21 and above to buy it.

Illinois is the 11th state to legalize marijuana.

Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has been very vocal about the topic, stating he is on board with with legalization in Wisconsin as well as decriminalizing small amounts for recreational use.

However, some lawmakers don’t agree.

“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,” Sen. Patrick Testin told News 9 in an April interview.

Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul believes legalizing marijuana could help prevent further drug abuse.

“I would also rather very much see somebody who could be prescribed medical marijuana or prescribed opioids. I would rather see them get medical marijuana, given the problem we have had with the opioid epidemic,” said Kaul.

Kaul even said it would bring a great source of revenue for the state.

News 9 wanted to see what some residents had to say about Wisconsin possibly following in the steps of Illinois. Some are hoping the badger state is next.

“There are people that I know that do marijuana, so if it’s going to be legalized in other states then why not Wisconsin? There are people who do it; they are going to get in trouble because it’s not legalized, so why not just legalize it?” said Bradie Hemmond.

“Every other state is doing it and, obviously, Wisconsin is just in slow-motion,” said Nicolai Duerst.

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.

Victoria Saha

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