Board of Health Denies Resolution for Advisory Marijuana Referendum

An advisory referendum on the legalization and regulation of
marijuana is not being recommended by the Fond du Lac County
Board of Health. Members of the board say they received several letters
concerned about the referendum – but none supporting it. Marty Ryan 
tells us it doesn’t make sense for the county to be
discussing a state issue. 

He says “it’s not an appropriate measure for
us to use the advisory referendum on an issue we have no control over. So it
was to send it back to the County
from a public
health perspective of denying that. That it’s not an appropriate way to use an
advisory referendum at this time.”

A member of Legalize Wisconsin was asked to leave the room after a small outburst followed the decision. Just moments after that incident, the Board of Health did pass through recommendation for a resolution that would request the state legislature to study the merits of medical marijuana.
Ryan explains that “for us as a Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors or the Fond du Lac Board of Health – we have no jurisdictional ability to help in this issue. So it’s placing the issue where it needs to be placed – that’s in the legislature – and allowing the appropriate process to take place.”

Ryan adds that sending a request to the legislature makes the most sense. He says “we’re trying to put items that need
to be dealt with appropriately in a legislative matter in those arenas to be
dealt with. And you can do surveys and other things in order to get your
opinion across. So I think it’s an appropriate way to deal with this issue and
I think it’s a reasonable way to deal with this issue.”

The full County Board will still be discussing the advisory referendum resolution – after it was approved by the Public Safety committee last month. Again, the referendum would not lead to any action – as it simply asks residents whether they support legalizing marijuana, legalizing for medical purposes, or keeping it on a list of illegal drugs.