Maybe the issue of marijuana legalization should be revisited, given Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s warning about future budget shortfalls.
A recent 10-year study of Colorado’s legalization experiment found that state-licensed marijuana sales generated nearly $2.3 billion in tax revenue and created an estimated 35,000 jobs. The study also found that while adult use increased, fatal traffic accidents due to marijuana impairment did not. No evidence showed legalization increased teen use.
On the other hand, Wisconsin does have an alcohol abuse problem. In 2022, one survey ranked Wisconsin as the nation’s “drunkest” state, based on self-reporting, with 25% of Wisconsin residents drinking excessively. In 2021, it was estimated that 41 of the 50 most heavily drinking counties in America were located in Wisconsin. If marijuana was legal, some of the tax revenue could be used to address this alcohol crisis by increasing treatment and enforcement.