Ten of the Democratic candidates for Wisconsin governor appeared at a forum on Wednesday Jan. 17, 2018 at the UW-Fox Valley James Perry Theater in Menasha. And, when asked, nine of the ten favored legalization.
The forum, sponsored by the Outagamie and Winnebago County Democrats, was moderated by Wisconsin Public Radio’s Joy Cardin and carried live on Wisconsin Eye.
There has been little in the mainstream news about where Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on legalization of cannabis. While Matt Flynn;s support of legalization has gotten some attention, not much has been reported on other candidates in the large field vying to face Gov. Scott Walker this November. This post will begin to clear up some of the mystery.
These are the ten candidates who participated
-Michele Doolan, Cross Plains small business owner.
–Tony Evers, Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
–Matt Flynn, former chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and retired partner at Quarles & Brady.
–Andy Gronik, Milwaukee businessman.
–Bob Harlow, candidate for US Congress in California in 2016.
–Mike McCabe, former executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and candidate for the State Assembly in 1998.
–Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2012.
–Kelda Roys, former State Representative and candidate for US Congress in 2012.
–Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator.
–Dana Wachs, State Representative.
The question asked, which Cardin noted came in over social media, was: “Should Wisconsin legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes?”
Michele Doolan: “As an MS patient, I firmly agree for both.”
Tony Evers: “Yes on medicinal. I’d like to have a referendum on recreational.”
Matt Flynn: “I advocated the legalization about six weeks ago, and I went one step farther today at a forum in Madison, When I am governor, I will pardon everyone in our prison system who’s there for marijuana as long as they’re not there for violence.”
Andy Gronik: “Yes.”
Bob Harlow: “Decriminalize but not legalize. It’s unknown exactly the effects of the substance on the body, but I don’t want people going to jail for it. but I don’t think it’s good policy to say it’s completely safe.”
Mike McCabe: “Yes. Legalize and tax the legal sales of marijuana.”
Mahlon Mitchell: “I say yes and tax it appropriately and use all that money derived from legalizing marijuana and go toward the real crisis, which is the opiate crisis, and put money for treatment and take of our people in the state who are on heroin and opiate drugs. Yes.”
Kelda Roys: “I’d say yes as well and make sure we direct Law enforcement resources where they actually need to be which are keeping us safe and not incarcerating people.”
Kathleen Vinehout: “I strongly support medical marijuana and I’m a cosponsor of the bill that’s in the legislature right now. If the bill to legalize recreational marijuana came to me after it’s been through the process, I would sign it. I do think we need to put that money towards those that are mentally ill and are suffering from addiction.”
Dana Wachs: “I would say yes. I’d say tax it and I think we need to develop alternative courts like the treatment court systems we have now in Eau Claire and Milwaukee increasingly. This is the way we can fund this. We need to treat the underlying problems underneath our crime problems Putting people in jail for simple possession is ridiculous $30,000 a year and you’re destroying the family, and you’re taking people out of their community. These are not violent people.”
You can watch the video from Facebook here. The cannabis discussion begins at about 1:16.