Wisconsin GOP Grows Support For Medical Cannabis

Wisconsin’s Republican leaders, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, signaled progress in legalizing medical marijuana in 2023. A bill reflecting Minnesota’s medical program approach is set for reintroduction in January 2024.

Political Momentum

Despite missing a public hearing in 2023, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Senator Mary Felzkowski’s efforts suggest growing support for medical cannabis legislation among Republicans.

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Wisconsin residents persist in using recreational marijuana despite its illegality, while Representative Shae Sortwell, noting the potential for more libertarian-leaning Republicans in the Legislature seeks to consolidate varying stances through new legislation.

Public Sentiment And Regional Influence

With neighboring states legalizing recreational cannabis and strong public support in Wisconsin, pressure mounts for legislative changes. 

However, current efforts focus primarily on medical use, with caution against full legalization or decriminalization. Illinois and Michigan have fully legalized both recreational and medical marijuana, offering broad access to adults.

Conversely, Iowa maintains strict laws against recreational use, allowing only a restrictive medical marijuana program with non-smoking forms.

Meanwhile, Minnesota recently joined the ranks of more liberal states, legalizing recreational cannabis as of August 1, reflecting a notable shift in regional marijuana policies.

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