MADISON (WKOW) — The state Senate’s high Republican mentioned Friday he is in opposition to legalizing leisure marijuana, one thing Democratic Governor Tony Evers proposed in his price range for the following two-year cycle.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) mentioned he was deferring to the police departments with whom he is mentioned the difficulty.
“Recreationally, no, I’m not [in favor of legalization].” LeMahieu mentioned. “I’ve heard from local law enforcement, law enforcement around the state have all taken stands it’s really dangerous to be legalizing marijuana recreationally at this point.”
LeMahieu’s point out of public security aligns with comparable feedback over the previous couple weeks from different Republicans senators Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg).
Evers proposed legalizing medical marijuana two years in the past; Republicans shot down that effort as nicely with then-majority chief Scott Fitzgerald adamantly opposing each medical and leisure legalization.
Evers mentioned he was shifting even additional on the difficulty after seeing the income leisure marijuana has generated in border states.
“I’m particularly tired of seeing our tax dollars going across the border to northern Michigan or Illinois to go buy marijuana,” Ever mentioned. “I think the time has come. I hope the legislature will agree with us.”
The Evers administration estimated legalizing leisure marijuana would carry the state $165 million in annual tax income.
While LeMahieu mentioned he opposed taking on medical marijuana – and even decriminalization of the substance – as a part of the state price range, he left the door considerably open on these points as standalone laws.
“There are Republicans that have bills for both of those so they need to go through the legislative process like any other policy idea,” LeMahieu mentioned.
Still, LeMahieu cautioned that with marijuana nonetheless unlawful on the federal stage, he can be hesitant to help any sort of measure that didn’t name for excessive regulation of who may purchase the drug by means of a prescription.
“Unless it’s approved and there’s tight ways it’s used for medicinal purposes, then maybe we can start having that discussion,” LeMahieu mentioned.