Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Says Cannabis Legalization In The State Will Not Take Place
Wisconsin has been pushing for legal cannabis, but it looks like those hopes are now gone. The Senate chairman said this week that they will not take steps towards legalization because Republicans are not providing enough support to back it up.
“We have no support from the caucus. It’s pretty clear that we don’t have 17 medical or recreational voices in the caucus [to] legalize it, ”Senate majority leader Devin LeMahieu said of the decision.
LeMahieu is personally against the move as a Republican, and while some Republican Senators support cannabis, there is generally not enough broad-scale support to move forward.
“I think the discussion needs to be at the federal level and that no rogue state needs to do this without actual science,” LeMahieu said.
Currently, Republicans control the Wisconsin Senate at a rate of 20-12, soon to be 21-12, as Watertown-based Representative John Jagler joins the Senate after winning his special election. Because of this, it’s difficult to get things done like COVID aid and regulation, legal cannabis, and other partisan issues that are usually backed by Democrats.
While almost all Senate Democrats in Wisconsin support legal cannabis, there is still not enough support across party lines.
There is still hope, however, that medical cannabis legalization will take off, but LeMahieu will only support it if there is enough support to only pass it with Republicans to ensure there is bipartisan support.
Is There Hope for Wisconsin?
Wisconsin first started talking seriously about cannabis legalization when Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, proposed the idea of boosting the state budget after COVID.
“The legalization and taxation of marijuana in Wisconsin – just like we already do with alcohol – ensures that a controlled market and a safe product are available for both recreational and medical users, and gives us endless opportunities in ours To invest communities and to create more just state, “Evers claimed back in February with regard to the benefits of legalizing cannabis.
And Evers definitely has support. A total of 83 percent of voters in Wisconsin want at least to legalize medical cannabis. Fifty-nine percent of citizens support recreational cannabis. Still, Republican lawmakers aren’t quite there yet, as many in the Senate believe that even medically legal cannabis is a bad idea.
Democratic Senator Melissa Agard was the one who tabled a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis, but Wisconsin isn’t ready yet – a fact that makes Agard sad. “It’s really clear that a lot of my colleagues across the aisle aren’t in touch with what the vast majority of the people in Wisconsin ask of us,” said Agard. “I believe if the Republican leadership stopped putting their thumbs on their caucus members, we could move these policies forward.”
“It’s disappointing that Republicans would rather play politics than listen to the vast majority of Wisconsinites who support Governor Evers’ Badger Bounceback’s plan to expand BadgerCare, increase investment in our schools, and tax and regulate marijuana, much like that we already do it with alcohol, “he repeated Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback in a statement.
Cudaback refers to the governor’s plans to expand medical care in the state and pay for things like schools that use taxed, regulated, legal cannabis.
For now, at least, it seems that Wisconsin isn’t going to get a legal cannabis market, and maybe not even a medicinal one. Local and Democratic support remains, however, and if statewide legalization comes up, Wisconsin cannot keep legal cannabis out forever.