Wisconsin Gubernatorial Candidate Vows to Push for Marijuana Legalization

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In Wisconsin’s crowded 2018 gubernatorial race, candidates are pulling out all the stops in hope of securing a spot on the 2018 ballot. One Democrat not afraid to go against the grain in his home state is Matt Flynn, a retired attorney and former Democratic Party chairman who’s supporting marijuana legalization, if that’s what the voters want.

Flynn announced on Tuesday that if Wisconsin voters express an interest in legalizing marijuana, he would abide by that and push other lawmakers in the state to get it done.

“Having reviewed the results of legalization in other states, I now believe Wisconsin should legalize marijuana,” said Flynn.

Flynn is currently one of 11 declared candidates hoping to represent Wisconsin Democrats in the race for governor.

On Tuesday, Flynn backed up his promise to push Wisconsin legislators by recommending a non-binding referendum be placed on the ballot next year to gauge the public’s interest in ending cannabis prohibition.

Currently, Wisconsin has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. First-time offenders caught with any amount of weed face a misdemeanor charge carrying up to six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Selling or growing cannabis in any fashion will put Wisconsinites at risk of catching a felony charge.

“I am concerned about the impact of mass incarceration on our society, including both the social and financial impact,” explained Flynn. “Under present law, people can easily acquire a felony record that effectively bars them from most employment for the rest of their lives. The financial burden on the criminal justice system is also unacceptable.”

“I also believe that legalizing marijuana will simply recognize a fact of life for many people, including the increasing use of medical marijuana by senior citizens to alleviate pain. Another result of legalization, although not the main reason for my position, will be the increased tax revenue and safety benefits that legalization will bring.”

Current Wisconsin Governor Republican Scott Walker is a staunch opponent of legalization who’s running for his third term in 2018.

Cover image courtesy of WISN

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