Wednesday, August 29, 2018

County Board approves marijuana referendum by 1 vote

From The Journal
A video screen shows the 11-10 Racine County Board vote on Tuesday night Aug. 28, 201`8, that authorized an advisory Marijuana referendum for Nov. 6.  ADAM ROGAN
RACINE COUNTY — Racine will become one of about a dozen counties in the state to have an advisory referendum regarding the legalization of marijuana use. On Tuesday night, the County Board authorized it by an 11-10 vote with every supervisor present.
The three questions that will appear on every ballot in Racine County on Nov. 6 are as follows:
1. Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal use?
2. Should marijuana be legalized and regulated for adults 21 years of age or older?
3. Should marijuana sales be taxed for state and local revenue?
The results of voters’ responses to the three questions will not have a direct effect on legislation. It would be used as a litmus test of public opinion.
Before the referendum was approved Tuesday, an amendment proposed by Supervisor Monte Osterman of Racine was passed by a 14-7 vote. The amendment removed language about how the tax revenue could be used from question No. 3 and removed mention of regulating marijuana “similar to alcohol” from question No. 2.
Supervisor John Wisch of Caledonia supported the amendment, saying it was “more to the point.”

The vote

The County Board passed the referendum on the very last day possible to get it on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Supervisors Osterman, Wisch, Nick Demske, Fabi Maldonado, Melissa Kaprelian-Becker, Q.A. Shakoor II, Eric Hillery, Janet Bernberg, Don Trottier, Thomas Roanhouse and Tom Hincz voted in favor of it. David Cooke, Russell Clark, Brett Nielsen, Robert Miller, Tom Kramer, Katherine Buske, Scott Maier, Robert Grove, Thomas Pringle and Mike Dawson opposed it.
The referendum was first proposed on July 31 by supervisors Demske and Maldonado, both of Racine.
This comes weeks after the Racine City Council adopted a similar referendum for the same ballot. The state Election Commission recommends removing such similar questions, although County Clerk Wendy Christensen said she was unsure if this would be possible because the election is less than 71 days away.

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