Election 2018: Voters In Ohio And Wisconsin Approve Municipal Reform Measures

Voters in Ohio and Wisconsin approved a series of binding and non-binding local marijuana reform initiatives on Election Day.

In Ohio, voters in five cities — including Dayton (population 140,000) — approved municipal ordinances seeking to either eliminate or significantly reduce local fines and penalties associated with marijuana-related offenses. Voters approved similar measures in the communities of Fremont (population 16,000), Norwood (population 20,000), Oregon (population 20,000), and Windham (population, 2,200).

Several other Ohio cities and towns — including Athens, Bellaire, Newark, Logan, Roseville, and Toledo — have previously enacted similar voter-initiated ordinances.

In Wisconsin, voters in sixteen separate counties — including Milwaukee County — approved non-binding ballot questions expressing support for the legalization of cannabis for either medical purposes or for adult use.

The results to these advisory questions bode well for the prospects of a potential statewide ballot measure in 2020. Such an effort would likely be endorsed by Governor-elect Tony Evers, who in the past has expressed support for such a vote, stating: “I’d support it (marijuana legalization), but I do believe there has to be a more thoughtful, rigorous conversation around it as a state. So I would love to have a statewide referendum on this.”

Sixty-four percent of registered Wisconsin voters say that marijuana should be “legalized for use by adults, … taxed, and regulated like alcohol,” according to a statewide October 2018 poll.

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Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
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