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Wisconsinites Paid over $36 Million in Taxes to Illinois on Cannabis Purchases PDF Print E-mail
Written by Melissa Agard Press   
Friday, 17 March 2023 08:33

marijuana-hemp-dairy-farmers-wiRepublican's refusal to legalize marijuana is fiscally irresponsible. We lost millions in taxes to Illinois in 2022, not to mention Michigan and soon Minnesota. It's time to end our island of prohibition.

MADISON – A recent memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) found that $36.1 million of Illinois cannabis tax revenues in fiscal year 2022 were attributable to sales of cannabis made to Wisconsin residents. Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) introduced the first full legalization bill in Wisconsin history in 2013. Senate Democratic Leader Agard released the following statement on the LFB memo:

“It should upset every Wisconsinite that our hard earned tax dollars are going across the border to Illinois. This is revenue that could be going toward Wisconsin’s public schools, transportation infrastructure, and public safety. Instead, Illinois is reaping the benefits of Republican obstructionism and their prohibitionist stance on marijuana legalization.

melissa-agard“Republicans’ continued refusal to legalize marijuana is fiscally irresponsible. Wisconsinites paid more than $31 million – just in taxes – to Illinois in 2022. Wisconsin’s loss of potential revenue is even larger if we include taxes paid to Michigan, as well as Minnesota in the near future. Wisconsin is losing out on significant tax dollars that could be used to make our communities stronger, safer, and healthier.

“We are an island of prohibition and the people of our state are hurting because of it. As seen in our neighboring states, legalizing marijuana for responsible adult usage will generate significant revenue for our mainstreets, safely regulate the existing illicit market, reinvest in our agriculture and farming heritage, support entrepreneurship, and address the massive and egregious racial disparities from marijuana prohibition.

“The fundamental aspect of our job as legislators is to listen to the people we represent. The people of Wisconsin have been asking the legislature to take up common sense measures that will push our state forward. We know that legalizing cannabis for responsible adult use is wildly popular among Wisconsinites, including the majority of Republicans.

“I fully support Governor Evers’ 2025-25 biennial budget proposal to fully legalize marijuana for responsible adult use, and if Republicans choose to remove it from the budget, I will once again introduce my bill to achieve this goal.  It’s high time we get this done for the betterment of our state and the people living here.”

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