We have a couple big updates regarding our local decriminalization initiatives!

West Milwaukee

We just received word last week that we collected enough signatures in West Milwaukee to move our $5 decriminalization initiative forward! We turned in 209 signatures, and the village found that 205 of them were valid, well more than the 189 we required. The ordinance now moves to the village council, where they have only two options:

  1. Enact the ordinance right way; or
  2. Put the ordinance on the ballot for the people to vote on

We are confident that the ordinance will pass if brought to a vote of the people of West Milwaukee, and we are prepared to Get Out The Vote for the initiative if it does end up on a ballot. But, we would rather the council pass the ordinance right way so the people of West Milwaukee can benefit from the reduced penalty for cannabis possession as quickly as possible.

We want as many West Milwaukee residents as possible to come to the village board meeting on Monday July 17th to show support for reducing cannabis fines. The meeting is at 7pm at the West Milwaukee Community Centre’ (1345 South 45th Street, West Milwaukee).

West Milwaukee may be a small village, but this is a huge victory!

Several cannabis decriminalization petition initiatives have been attempted by multiple groups across the state over the last few years, all of them failing for one reason or another. The lessons we learned from those failures lead to this victory, and the lessons we learned from this victory will propel us forward to many more victories in the near future, culminating in the statewide legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use just a few years from now!

Thank you to Greg Banks, Chris Kresser, Chris Alberti, and Adrian Love for their hours of help collecting signatures! Thank you to Mike McAlister for designing our fliers! And Thank you to Bill Sanders and the crew at Record Head for collecting signatures at their store! This was a great group effort, and I greatly appreciate all of your help!


Southeastern Wisconsin NORML is teaming up with the Racine Green Party on a $1 decriminalization initiative in Racine. Racine requires 3,741 signatures to force a ballot initiative, and we have a goal of 4,500 signatures to ensure we’ll have enough. We currently have over 1,300 signatures and we will be petitioning at several more events in Racine before August.

The more volunteers we have, the faster we can complete Racine and move on to more municipalities around the state. We are looking for volunteers to help collect signatures at some local events coming up:

SE WI NORML will be coordinating signature collection outside of Summerfest from 3-8pm on the following days:

  • Thursday June 29th
  • Saturday July 1st
  • Saturday July 8th
  • Saturday July 9th

We’re splitting the work into 2.5 hour shifts (3-5:30 and 5:30-8), but even if you can help for an hour anywhere in there, your help will be appreciated!

We are also looking for volunteers for the Fourth of July celebrations in Racine, where we will be collecting signatures most of the day.

If you would like to help out with the petition drive in Racine, email us at info@sewinorml.org. All volunteers will receive a free WI NORML t-shirt, a WI NORML pin, and a stack of WI NORML stickers!

We will also be holding our next meeting in Racine, at 6pm on Tuesday June 27th at the Racine Green Party office (4601 Washington Ave, Racine, WI). Come on out if you’re in the Racine area!

Continuing Forward

These local initiatives are our main focus for the next year. Wisconsin’s constitution doesn’t allow us to perform statewide ballot initiatives, so we can’t legalize cannabis the way Colorado, California, etc all did, we have to go through the state legislature. Unfortunately, the current legislature, especially the Republicans in it, refuse the budge on even medical cannabis. To get cannabis legalized in Wisconsin, we need to elect many new people to the legislature.

These local decriminalization initiatives accomplish several things:

  1. Lowering fines and keeping people out of jail by directly changing local laws
  2. Expanding and training our volunteer force, which will be used to elect pro-cannabis politicians in Nov 2018
  3. Drawing attention to cannabis law reform in the media and encouraging conversation about it
  4. Showing politicians that people support cannabis law reform
  5. Showing politicians that cannabis law reform supporters are a powerful political force

Our plan is to put cannabis decriminalization ordinances on the November 2018 ballot in dozens of cities and villages across Wisconsin. This will make cannabis law reform a powerful issue in the Governor’s election and increase voter turnout among cannabis consumers. These small initiatives, when put together, form our path towards statewide legalization.

In order to accomplish this, we need our grassroots cannabis community – that’s you! – to get involved! Our core team here at SE WI NORML can only do so much on our own, so we’re looking for leaders to organize the communities in their cities to complete the initiatives in their hometowns.

We will:

  • Write a $1 decriminalization ordinance specific to your city or village
  • Give you valid petition forms
  • Train you on everything you need to know to have a successful petition drive
  • Help you find volunteers
  • Assist you with any questions you may have

We need you to:

  • Recruit a few friends to help collect signatures (how many depends on how big your city/village is)
  • Find public events you can collect at (or you can do all door-to-door if your city/village is small, but events generally give the most signatures per hour)
  • Put in the hours of work collecting signatures
  • Keep your certified petition forms in a safe spot
  • Keep us informed of your progress

If you would like more information on how you can organize a petition drive for direct legislation in your city or village, check out Wisconsin NORML’s page about direct legislation in Wisconsin and email us at info@sewinorml.org to contact us.
We already have people laying the groundwork for initiatives in Union Grove and Shorewood that we’re going to start on once Racine finishes up, and we’d love to add your city to our list!

If you have any questions or comments about our initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us!