Legislators Are Not “That Close” to Legalizing Medical Marijuana, According to A Prominent Republican Leader!


According to recent remarks from a powerful Republican in the Wisconsin state legislature, it now appears unlikely that the party would take up medical marijuana legislation this session.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said “we’re not that close” to legalizing medical marijuana in an interview that aired on WISN-TV on Sunday. He implied that some Republicans in the Assembly view it as an invitation to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Vos remarked that whenever Evers proposed legalizing recreational marijuana, “a whole lot of individuals who say, ‘We do not need to become like Illinois or Michigan'” were scared away.

Marijuana is permitted for both medical and recreational use in these states, and Wisconsin’s western neighbor, Minnesota, already allows for some forms of medical marijuana and is expected to allow for recreational use this spring.

Vos restated to WISN-TV his earlier stance on medical marijuana, which he had expressed to Wisconsin Public Radio.

“It is not about bringing in money for the state treasury if we decide to legalize medical marijuana. Additionally, this has nothing to do with pioneering a new market sector “… he made the following statement. All efforts should be directed toward assisting those who, through no fault of their own, have to live with the debilitating effects of a chronic condition.

Evers has long advocated for the legalization of marijuana in Wisconsin for both medical and recreational use. He told WPR in December that he plans to include a proposal to legalize marijuana in his 2018 state budget, just as he did in 2021. He said that he would sign an individual medicinal marijuana measure if it were presented to him by the Legislature.

There have been recent indications that Republican senators are serious about enacting a medicinal marijuana measure. In early January, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, informed the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his Republican caucus is “near” to advancing such a bill.

LeMahieu, like Vos, told the press that their law would severely restrict the kinds of medical requirements that it would cover.

Voters in Wisconsin strongly support legalizing marijuana. In a poll conducted by the Marquette University Law School in 2022, 61% of respondents expressed support for complete legalization, with roughly half of the Republican respondents sharing this view. 83 percent of respondents to a 2019 poll conducted by the Marquette University Law School said they supported the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Some Republicans in Congress are also vocal proponents of legalizing medical marijuana. Specifically, Republican Irma state senator Mary Felzkowski has been quite public about wishing she had access to medical marijuana amid her battle with cancer.

As of this writing, neither of Felzkowski’s medicinal marijuana bills (one from 2019 and one from 2021) has been passed by the legislature. A public hearing was held by Republican lawmakers on this matter last spring, although it was held after the legislative session had concluded.

In an interview with WPR, Felzkowski opted not to provide any commentary.

On Sunday, Vos said that a “middle ground consensus” is necessary for medical marijuana to advance this session. WPR reached out to his office for comment, but we heard nothing back.

National Conference of State Legislatures data shows that as of right now, medical marijuana is legal in 37 states plus DC.

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