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Rock County Cannabis Referendum

On this November 6 election day, Rock County voters will be asked to vote for more than just their state representative or senator. This election, voters will be asked “Should cannabis be legalized for adult use, taxed and regulated like alcohol, with the proceeds from the taxes used for education, healthcare, and infrastructure?” according to My Vote Wisconsin.

The Rock County Cannabis Referendum was voted to be on the ballot back in June, but the buzz has finally come out now that election day is so close. Some believe this was only a trick intended to get the younger voters out to the polls, but any way to get more voters and voices heard is what we all should want.

Looking at this from a Beloiter, and once a begrudged Peet Rat’s, point of view there are extremely clear reasons in which one should vote in favor for the legalization. At Beloit, this would only bring down the number of drug-related referrals, which was a whopping 113 referrals back in 2017, and possibly bring up the enrollment numbers. Who knows what kind of regulations the college will make on the usage, but the first step into that conversation, and the possibility of less referrals, starts with this referendum.

In all seriousness, a state where cannabis is legalized is a major selling point for some college kids. A lot of prospective students know better than to base their school of choice off policies like this, but it also doesn’t hurt if cannabis policies swing the same way they do. Ever since the drinking philosophy came to be a policy, the overall atmosphere and happiness of Beloit students has gone down substantially. There’s nothing that makes Beloit “weird” anymore.

Other non-Beloit College students have also thought that the referendum could be useful. Not only would it burst the State of Wisconsin’s revenue up about $138 million, but supporters also say that it could calm down the opioid scene in Rock County; using the marijuana as a substitute and the revenue to help those still suffering from addiction.

In other states, we have seen how the legalization of cannabis has improved overall crime rates in addition to their economic state.

Recreational marijuana in the United States is available in nine states, while another 31 have made medical marijuana legal for their constituents. According to the Denver Post, Pueblo County, Colorado found that in a report formulated by the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research, “Researchers found that a taxed and regulated cannabis industry contributed more than $58 million to the local economy.”

The vote will obviously not make the whole state “potheads” overnight. The process will be a little longer, this vote is only technically to show that Rock County is in support of the legalization in the state of Wisconsin. Only Wisconsin state legislatures could make this possible.

I truly believe that the legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin will bring nothing but positives to the table. Although it may take some time to fully get there, your voice matters now. When you get to the part on your ballot, be sure to vote yes for the Rock County Cannabis Referendum. All past, present and future Peet Rats will thank you.

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