Dane County voters will find something special on their Spring 2014 election ballots on April 1 this year. Referendum #2, asking "Should the state government enact legislation legalizing marijuana?", will appear on all Dane County ballots.
The referendum was passed unanimously by the Dane County Board at a January meeting after being introduced in late 2013 by Supervisors Leland Pan and Kyle Richmond.
This is the second time since 2010 that Dane voters have had the opportunity to weigh in on cannabis. The Nov. 2010 advisory referendum, asking "Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?", won easily, garnering a 75.49% margin of victory. The referendum gained the most votes against every other candidate or issue on that ballot in nearly every Dane County ward except for a handful.
On Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 5:00pm until 9:00pm, referendum supporters are holding a Benefit event at Madison's Cardinal Bar, 418 E Wilson St., Madison, to help get out the vote. Special guests include both Supervisor Pan and Richmond and their County Board colleague Rep. Melissa Sargent, who introduced Assembly Bill 810, the first cannabis legalization bill introduced in the legislature in over four decades. Music from DJs Jon Aaron featuring Chronic Trance and Wyatt Agard. The Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will have an information/vending table as well. This is a free/all ages event. The event's Facebook page notes: "Donations for the 'Legalization of Marijuana' in the state of Wisconsin highly appreciated."
While Referendum #2 is advisory only and changes no laws, it will give a good snapshot of public opinion. Cannabis legalization is very popular among Americans and Wisconsinites and a recent Fox6News internet poll from WITI-Milwaukee found support for legalization at over 90%. This vote will focus a lot of attention on legalization in Wisconsin and likely demonstrate that state residents in the state capital are strongly in agreement the national trend that is gaining strength every day.