As noted in my last post, “Why Wisconsin can’t vote to legalize cannabis,” passing cannabis law reform legislation has been extremely difficult with little real progress over decades of legislating. The state constitution does not include the Initiative process, closing off the route numerous states have already taken and more are taking this November to pass medical and adult use initiatives. A total of nine states will be voting Nov. 8.
With cannabis legalization for medical or adult use up to Wisconsin lawmakers, electing new representatives who agree with the majority of state residents that medical cannabis and adult use should be legal is paramount. The Wisconsin Homegrown Voters PAC is a new effort to legalize cannabis in Wisconsin by both raising funds to support candidates who are in favor and by surveying candidate opinions on cannabis legalization to inform voters who their best choices are.
The Wisconsin Homegrown Voters PAC website explains, “We are fundraising to pay for campaign expenses in two Wisconsin Assembly Districts. If can exceed our goals there are 15 possible districts that can be targeted where marijuana supporters can be the deciding factor in who wins the elections.”
Cannabadger talked with Benjamin Plunkett, Political Director for the Wisconsin Homegrown Voters PAC. Ben outlined the following goals:
– Tax-free medical marijuana for those with the recommendation of a physician.
– Create a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis market
– Allow adults to grow their own marijuana for personal consumption
– Let Wisconsin farmers to grow cannabis for the agricultural and industrial markets
– Institute a process of expungement for those convicted of past marijuana offenses
Plunkett explained further, “I think we want to focus on action. The public supports legal marijuana. It is time to start replacing those elected officials who support mass incarceration and oppose the will of the voters. This is why we have elections, cannabis voters are organizing to support candidates who support us.”
Surveys with five questions were sent to the two hundred or so candidates running for state senate and state assembly. They included third party candidates and uncontested elections.
The majority of the candidate survey responses posted on The Wisconsin Homegrown Voters PAC so far are in favor. One of those definitely not in favor is Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) who represents the 20th Senate District. Stroebel is best known as one of a handful of state senate cannabigots who prevailed upon Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Beaver Dam) to adjourn the senate in the closing moments of the final session of 2016 to block a motion to bring the Republican-sponsored CBD bill to a floor vote, killing it.
Stroebel’s response to all 5 questions was “I would be a ‘no’ on all the questions.” Unfortunately, thanks to Wisconsin’s extreme gerrymandering, Sen. Stroebel is one of those uncontested seats.
The Wisconsin Homegrown Voters PAC is a necessary step in making progress on bringing our state’s archaic cannabis laws up to date. It’s a very welcome addition to the cannabis debate in our state and the kind of projects we need to see happen to make the dream of legal cannabis in Wisconsin a reality. Visit the site (Kudos to web/graphics whiz Pj Schloemer) and learn where the candidates you will see on your ballot Nov. 8 stand on cannabis. Be sure to make a donation if you can to help fund cannabis-friendly candidates. Help build the support to end prohibition in Wisconsin!