Wisconsin gov’s cannabis legalization plans might slow MMJ progress

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A top Wisconsin legislator is pumping the brakes on the governor’s plans to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis in the state, claiming legislators are still in the early stages of discussing the possibility of legalizing MMJ.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that if the state budget proposed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers includes adult-use legalization, a medical program might not get the support it needs from the Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Assembly and Senate.

While Vos said discussions have only just begun, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said last week that his caucus is “close” to supporting a medical cannabis program for people with chronic pain – an approach Vos approves of.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that it is helping the people who have a chronic disease, not creating a pathway or a gateway to recreational marijuana somewhere in the future,” Vos told the Journal Sentinel.

“I think – I know – our caucus would not support that. I don’t think it’d be good for the state.”

Vos also said he warned the governor that he might “poison the well” if he keeps pushing for adult-use legalization in the state budget, and lose support for medical cannabis legalization.

“So my hope is he backs off that and doesn’t include it in the state budget,” Vos said.

“Maybe that’ll be a sign that we can find a common consensus.”

But the governor’s spokesperson, Britt Cudaback, said Evers will not change his budget.

“Gov. Evers is among the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites who believe we should legalize and regulate marijuana, much like we do with alcohol,” Cudaback told the Journal Sentinel.

“The governor ran for reelection – and won – promising to propose legalizing marijuana in his next budget, and he will keep the promise he made to the people of Wisconsin.”