Legalized Cannabis Begins to Gain GOP Support

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin, who have long opposed any form of marijuana legalization, are now quietly building support for a medical cannabis program that could potentially be enacted into law later this year. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos confirmed this development to The Associated Press on Thursday.

Vos did not disclose the names of the lawmakers involved, but stated that they are working only among Assembly Republicans to gather enough support. Vos hopes to introduce the plan in the fall. While he has supported some form of medical marijuana program in the past, no bill has ever been voted on in either the GOP-controlled Assembly or Senate.

Vos emphasized that he is still against legalizing recreational marijuana and does not intend to create a medical program that would serve as a precursor to that. Wisconsin is an outlier in the nation, with medical marijuana being legal in 38 states and recreational marijuana legal in 21. Meanwhile, neighboring states like Illinois and Michigan have legalized recreational use, while Minnesota and Iowa have legalized medical use.

Vos stated, “We are not Illinois. We are not California. We are not Colorado. We are a state that’s at best purple. And purple is not legalization of recreational marijuana.”

The push for marijuana legalization in Wisconsin has been gaining momentum, and it remains to be seen whether the Republican lawmakers’ efforts to build support for a medical cannabis program will succeed in a legislature that has been hesitant to act on this issue.

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Apr. 21, 2023

3:47 p.m.


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