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RACINE — Early voters in the City of Racine have already been faced with seven, seemingly repetitive referendum questions about legalizing marijuana. Why are there so many? And why are they so similar?

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When the City Council approved having four marijuana legislation questions on this November’s ballot, it hadn’t planned for the Racine County Board to jump on the bandwagon.

Ballot referendums have to be finalized and submitted within 70 days of an election. The City Council approved its four questions on Aug. 6, leaving 22 days to spare before the deadline. But the County Board approved its own three questions on Aug. 28, the last possible day for referendums to be added to or removed from the Nov. 6 ballot.

“The County passed all their questions the last possible day, at a night meeting,” Assistant City Clerk Tara Coolidge explained. “It didn’t give the municipality time to re-evaluate its questions.”

And so, voters in Racine County who don’t live in the city will only be faced with three referendum questions related to pot. But city residents will be faced with a grand total of seven questions. The results of the city’s questions will have no effect on the county’s results, and vice versa.

16 counties, including Racine, to have referendums on marijuana on Nov. 6

The primary difference between the two sets of questions is that the City of Racine has included a question about how tax revenue from cannabis sales should be used, while the County is only asking if cannabis sales should be taxed. Additionally, the city is asking if cannabis should be decriminalized in Wisconsin, a question that is not addressed by the County Board’s questions.

Which questions are going where?

Marijuana-legislation questions only City of Racine voters will be asked:

  • Should cannabis be legalized for adult recreational use in Wisconsin?
  • Should cannabis be legalized for medical use in Wisconsin?
  • Should cannabis sales be taxed and the revenue from such taxes be used for public education, health care, and infrastructure in Wisconsin?
  • Should cannabis be decriminalized in the State of Wisconsin?

Marijuana-legislation questions all Racine County voters will be asked:

  • Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal use?
  • Should marijuana be legalized and regulated for adults 21 years of age or older?
  • Should marijuana sales be taxed for state and local revenue?

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Adam Rogan (SCHS '14, Drake U. '17) has been covering homelessness, arts & culture and just about everything else for the JT since March 2018. He enjoys mid-afternoon naps, loud music played quietly and social media followers @Could_Be_Rogan

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