marijuana legalization

Eau Claire County residents will be asked this fall if they think cannabis, better known as marijuana, should be legalized for adult use.

The Eau Claire County Board voted 20-4 Tuesday night to approve an advisory referendum on the issue that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, according to Eau Claire County Clerk Janet Loomis.

Loomis said nine members of the public spoke in favor of the referendum and none expressed opposition at Tuesday’s meeting.

The referendum will ask county residents whether cannabis should be legal for adults 21 and older for recreational or medical use, be legal for medical purposes only and available only by prescription or remain a criminally illegal drug as provided under current law. 

Supervisor Gerald Wilkie said this summer that the referendum wouldn’t legalize marijuana but simply gauge the public’s opinion on a controversial issue that has prompted referendums in other Wisconsin counties as well.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form, according to the website governing.com. Wisconsin isn’t among them.