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TALKING POINTS ON GOVERNOR EVERS’ BUDGET

Reforming Wisconsin's marijuana laws to align with the people's support for medical marijuana is an important part of the governor's plan. But so, too, is addressing the social and racial justice aspect of marijuana use. 

  • Under the governor's proposal, a physician, or a practitioner under the direction of a physician, can recommend the use of medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms related to medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, post- traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, severe nausea, and seizures.

    • The governor’s budget decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana by eliminating the penalty for possession, distribution, or manufacturing of 25 grams of marijuana or less.

    • The governor believes it is time for Wisconsin to join 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have approved a comprehensive public medical marijuana/cannabis program.

    • Last year, nearly one million voters in 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin voted to approve non- binding referenda asking if marijuana should be legal for medical or recreational use. These referenda all passed by significant majorities.

    • The governor’s budget allows a person serving a sentence or on probation for the possession, distribution or manufacture of 25 grams of marijuana or fewer to request dismissal of the conviction and provide a means for persons convicted under prior law to petition a court for the expungement of their conviction.

  • Criminal justice reform is an area where Republicans and Democrats should be able to work together. That starts with our juvenile justice system and making sure that our kids are safe and have a chance to be rehabilitated so they can get back into our communities and be successful.

    • The governor is committed to closing Lincoln Hills as soon as possible and has instructed the involved departments, DOC, DCF, DHS and DOA, to collaborate to find efficiencies in the process of closing Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake and creation of new facilities.

      • In partnership with the legislative authors of 2017 Act 185, he is committed to finding the fastest and safest path to closing the facilities and relocating the children.

      • Because the governor is committed to making sure the necessary resources are available to provide alternate housing to youth at Lincoln Hills as soon as possible, the governor’s budget makes significant increased investments in Type 1 and Secured Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth (SRCCCY) funding.

    • The governor’s budget reverts jurisdiction of 17-year-old offenders from adult court to juvenile court for acts committed on or after January 1, 2021.

      • The proposal provides sum sufficient funding to Wisconsin counties to cover eligible costs associated with returning these youth to the juvenile justice system.

      • Scientists agree that adolescent brains do not fully develop until around age 25 and the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that juveniles are not as culpable as adults due to brain development.

    • The governor’s budget provides an additional $1 million GPR annually for the Treatment, Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program and sets aside $500,000 for counties that do not currently have a TAD program. The TAD program provides nonviolent offenders with substance abuse treatment and case management as an alternative to jail or prison. For every $1.00 spent on TAD, the criminal justice system saves $1.96.

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