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La Crosse County Board puts marijuana referendum on ballot

La Crosse County voters will have five county referendum questions to answer on the November ballot: one asking whether the state should legalize marijuana and four related to transportation funding.

The La Crosse County Board approved the marijuana and transportation ballot questions on 17-8 votes. While the marijuana legalization question was approved in the same form that came through board committees, the transportation funding referendum took a radical detour from the previously agreed upon format.

Board member Steve Doyle, who also represents the 94th District in the state Assembly, said he’d been thinking about what questions he would need to answer if he were able to get a hearing for legislation he has introduced that would allow the county to impose a premier resort area tax. Special legislation is required because the 0.5 percent sales tax on tourism-related items was designed for areas that rely heavily on tourism, and La Crosse County doesn’t meeting the requirements.

Compared with the road funding referendums, the marijuana question was very simple, asking for a yes or no to the following: “Should the State of Wisconsin legalize the use of marijuana by adults 21 years or older, to be taxed and regulated in the same manner that alcohol is regulated in the State of Wisconsin, with proceeds from taxes used for education, healthcare and infrastructure?”

HOW THEY VOTED

The La Crosse County Board voted 17-8 to put an advisory referendum on the November ballot asking whether the state should legalize marijuana. Here is the vote breakdown:

FOR: Kim Cable, Rick Cornforth, Steve Doyle, Maureen Freedland, Jerome Gundersen, Sharon Hampson, Dan Hesse, Peg Isola, Tara Johnson, Karen Keil-Arellano, Monica Kruse, Margaret Larson, Matt Kikolay, Andrea Richmond, Patrick Scheller, Tina Tryggestad, Doug Weidenbach

AGAINST: Patrick Barlow, Vicki Burke, Ray Ebert, Dan Ferries, Ralph Geary, Dave Holtze, Kevin Hoyer, Isaac Tahiri

NOT PRESENT: Laurence Berg, Mike Giese, Roger Plesha, Tina Wehrs

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