FDL County officials say residents won't see marijuana referendum on ballot
FOND DU LAC (WLUK)-- Voters in Fond du Lac County won’t get to weigh-in on the legalization of marijuana come November, officials said.
Tuesday night, the county board of supervisors discussed adding an advisory referendum to ballots.
That decision was referred back to the county's health and public services committees.
“It will not appear on the November ballot in Fond du Lac County,”said FDL County Board of Supervisors chairperson Martin Farrell.
The committees will discuss the resolution at their next meeting, however, county board officials say, even if it is passed, it'll be too late to include it in the November ballot.
“It’s not enough time to block-out the ballots, and get them ready for printing,” Farrell said. “So, in effect, by referring to committee, the practical effect of that is that it won’t be on the Fond du Lac County ballot this year.”
If the board had agreed to add the referendum, Fond du Lac County would've joined nine other counties in the state, asking voters for their opinions on the legalization of marijuana.
It wouldn’t have changed state law, but it would’ve allowed voters to be heard, like they were given the chance to be at Tuesday’s board meeting.
“We are the people that are here, you are there to listen to what we say, and we need your help!” said a supporter of the referendum at the meeting.
The board allowed four people on each side of the issue to speak, though only three opposing the referendum took to the podium. They included a resident who spoke of the increase in violence and crime in states where marijuana has been legalized.
“Let us not send a message to legislators that we are open to increasing an already slippery-slope problem among youth and adults in our county and our state,” a speaker on the opposing side said.
This crowd consisted mostly of those wanting to see marijuana-related wording on general election ballots.
The advisory referendum would’ve asked Fond du Lac residents three questions, regarding the use and legalization of cannabis.
The options voters could've chosen from related to legalizing the regulated, adult use of marijuana, the medical use of it or neither.
Supervisors heard from the public for almost two hours.
Board members then got their turn to voice their opinions.
Some believed this issue shouldn't have even been brought berfore the board.
“If this is really the heart of the issue, why would you then bring something to the county, instead, that’s effective, and that we can do!” said Sam Kaufman, another FDL chairperson
“I, frankly, would prefer to deal with county issues we can control,” Farrell said.
The other counties in Wisconsin will be asking similar marijuana-related advisory questions to voters in the fall.