Mike McCabe
Press Release

McCabe plan funds health, education investments with proceeds from legal sales of marijuana

Even before announcing his candidacy on September 12, McCabe publicly supported legalization of industrial hemp production as well as medicinal and personal use of marijuana.

By - Mar 20th, 2018 06:01 am

MARCH 20, 2018 – Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe today fleshed out his position in favor of fully legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by detailing a plan to tax legal sales and use the new source of revenue to fund expanded treatment options for those struggling with opioid and methamphetamine addiction and make higher education more affordable.

Even before announcing his candidacy on September 12, McCabe publicly supported legalization of industrial hemp production as well as medicinal and personal use of marijuana.

“Current drug laws have proven ineffective, counterproductive and racially discriminatory. Those who use have shown they will use whether it’s legal or illegal. Drug laws making a second marijuana possession charge a felony do not make communities safer or improve public health, they only fill jail cells with nonviolent offenders. That drives mass incarceration and is a key reason why Wisconsin spends more of its state budget on prisons than on the entire university system,” McCabe said.

In addition, the current governor’s position refusing to consider any requests for pardons should be reversed, McCabe said, adding that pardons for those who have not been convicted of any violent act or property damage should be considered and granted when appropriate.

“Changing the governor’s pardon policy is one of many needed changes to Wisconsin’s approach to crime and punishment if we’re to reach the point of being able to spend more to unlock the potential of our population than we do to lock people behind bars. Wisconsin also should emphasize sentencing alternatives to imprisonment and focus more on mental health and drug addiction treatment,” he said. “Imprisoning twice as many people in Wisconsin than in neighboring Minnesota hasn’t resulted in less crime in Wisconsin. The two states have virtually identical crime rates. But because Wisconsin spends so much more on prisons than Minnesota, we are far less able to invest in empowering young people with higher education.”

Under McCabe’s plan, licensed dispensaries would be authorized to operate in Wisconsin and sales of marijuana would be taxed, with the new source of revenue split between addressing the opioid and meth crises with expanded treatment options and making educational opportunities in the state far more affordable.

Taxing legal sales of marijuana in Wisconsin should generate upwards of $200 million a year – or $400 million for the state’s two-year budget – by applying the state sales tax to purchases of medical marijuana and charging the sales tax as well as a 20% excise tax on purchases of marijuana for adult recreational use.

Colorado, with a population of 5.5 million people compared to Wisconsin’s 5.8 million, brought in $200 million last year in tax revenue from legal sales of marijuana. Colorado applies a 2.9% sales tax to medical marijuana, and charges that tax together with an additional 10% sales tax and 15% excise tax on purchases made for personal recreational use.

Washington state, population 7.3 million, raised $256 million last year with a 37% excise tax on legal marijuana sales. The state of Oregon, with its 4.1 million people, took in $60 million last year by requiring retailers to charge a 17% tax on sales of recreational marijuana.

“Large amounts of marijuana are being sold and used in Wisconsin, but it’s being done in a black market, often with the involvement of gangs or other organized crime. And illegal sales are not taxed, so no benefit to the public is derived from these transactions,” McCabe said. “From a public safety standpoint, it makes so much more sense to bring this activity above ground and out into the open. And then by taxing legal sales, we can generate an abundant new source of revenue that can be put to positive use in making Wisconsin better.”

Watch now: Campaign Video Release on Marijuana Taxation & Legalization

Commoners for Mike McCabe

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by Mike McCabe

McCabe: Take state government to the people

"People shouldn’t have to travel to the State Capitol to be heard and served by their state government."

Mike McCabe’s People Powered Campaign turns in 4,000 nomination signatures on his 58th Birthday.

Volunteers in every part of the state circulated nomination papers for McCabe.

Remove state barriers to local democracy to empower communities, McCabe proposes

"Local democracy has been commandeered by those currently in charge at the State Capitol."

11 thoughts on “McCabe plan funds health, education investments with proceeds from legal sales of marijuana”

  1. Tom says:

    Smart, very smart as other states have already proven for years now. Yeah Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general are more economically thriving, safer and cooler than Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland yeah right! Where’s the jobs Walker? Where’s the school funding, the road funding, the affordable healthcare Republicans?

    Legalize it!

  2. Terry says:

    Agreed Tom! This should’ve been done years ago. All prohibition does is enrich black market purveyors, enough! Prohibition has not worked! A solid majority of Wisconsites want cannabis legalized. It’s great to see Democrats supporting most people in Wisconson on this issue. First we have to Dump Walker and ALL Republicans who have been blocking cannabis legalization for years, then we can…

    Legalize, tax and regulate!
    Fix the roads!
    Fund the schools!

    Vote Democrat 2018!!

  3. Caligula says:

    Not only could we fund healthcare and fix our roads and schools but if Wisconsin legalized we would create thousands of good paying jobs, something Walker has not done but Wisconsin really needs. In every legal state between 16-20,000 new jobs were created, far more than Walker’s foxcon boondoggle which is just handing over billions of our tax money to a foreign company. Yes, vote Democrat so we can finally legalize, tax and regulate in Wisconsin

  4. Katie says:

    Yes! Legalize it!!

  5. Gary says:

    I wonder what Crazy Leah Vukmir and Career Politician Scott Walker have to say about this?


    It’s time for these Republican dinosaurs to go.

  6. Terry says:

    Dump Walker in November, then once the republicans are out we can finally…

    Legalize, tax and regulate cannabis in Wisconsin!

  7. Tom says:

    Yes! Dump Walker and Legalize it!

  8. Troll says:

    Running on pot seems to bring out more voters. McCabe’s problem is standing out from the other male “crackers” running for the Democratic mantle.

  9. Tom says:

    Dear Troll,

    Must you confirm our worst suspicions about republicans? Please at least try to not be so overtly racist. Thanks.


    The rest of Peace, Love and Justice loving humanity

  10. Troll says:

    Tom, your party puts D-I-V-E-R-S-IT-Y on such a high perch. I can not use the word cracker. Are you the great protector of white people. Where was your cry when the last Wisconsin Democratic Governors debate happened? Did n’t see your boy McCabe outraged as they sat five old, crackers, with ding a lings on stage? Where was McCabe standing up for the minority candidates on the stage? No, he seemed all comfortable up their with the boys club. It is a shame that all these journalist, Democratic politicians sat on their hands at let that happen. The media is truely a lap dog for the left.

  11. Tom says:

    Every state surrounding Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and now even Iowa as well as all of Canada has a medical cannabis program, some 35 states have either medical or fully legal adult use markets, everybody except Wisconsin, despite the fact that over 60% of Wisconsinites support full legalization and 90% support medical. Why is that? There is only one reason and one reason alone. REPUBLICANS. Anyone who has been paying attention over the years knows that Republicans have blocked each and every attempt to legalize cannabis. Vukmir and Kleefisch wouldn’t even let the Democrat’s bills out of committee! That’s right. Walker and Republicans hate Democrat’s so much they let their partisan hatred stop people from getting the safe, effective medicine they need, oftentimes to survive. There is a reason so many people are fleeing Walker’s crazy right-wing version of Wisconsin. We must vote Walker and all Republicans out of office in November. Once we finally get them out of office, we can finally move Wisconsin forward on this issue and many, many others. It’s simple, once Walker and Republicans are out, cannabis is in. Get out and vote DEMOCRAT Wisconsin and let’s LEGALIZE IT!!

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