GOP Cannabis Proposal Fails To Draw a Spark

Apr 20, 2023

GOP Cannabis Proposal Fails To Draw a Spark

MADISON, Wis. — Today, Speaker Vos announced the latest Republican attempt to take some sort of action on legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin. Unfortunately for the nearly two-thirds of Wisconsinites who support full legalization of recreational marijuana, this latest “plan” is likely headed nowhere. In fact, Republican politicians in Madison have torpedoed a dozen different proposals to legalize cannabis in the last two sessions of the Legislature alone.

Here’s a look back on Wisconsin Republicans’ inability to legalize cannabis over the years:

  • A bipartisan effort to legalize medical marijuana in September 2019 failed after GOP legislative leaders came out in opposition of the bill.
  • In December 2019, two Republican lawmakers introduced a proposal that would have legalized medical marijuana. The proposal was dismissed hours later by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who personally opposed the idea.
  • Gov. Evers included a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in his 2021-2023 budget. Two months later in April 2021, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the Legislature would not legalize recreational or medical marijuana during the legislative session.
  • In 2022, a Republican-authored bill that would have legalized medical marijuana in Wisconsin was shelved when the Legislature adjourned for the year.
  • Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu claimed Republican lawmakers were “close” to supporting medical marijuana in January 2023. Speaker Vos shot down LeMahieu’s optimism later that same month, announcing Republicans were “not that close” after all.

“It’s high time Republican politicians in Madison join the broad majority of Wisconsinites who support legalizing recreational marijuana,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Oslund. “Unfortunately, all Robin Vos and the rest of Republican leadership seem able to do is huff and puff about proposals that are clearly going nowhere. Luckily, with the possibility of fair legislative maps, we may soon have a chance to weed out Republican politicians who have made only token efforts at addressing the issue of legal marijuana in Wisconsin.”