Assembly District 21 (MAP) in Milwaukee County including parts of Oak Creek and South Milwaukee.
Milwaukee County 2018 Referendum:
“Do you favor allowing adults 21 years of age and older to engage in the personal use of marijuana, while also regulating commercial marijuana-related activities, and imposing a tax on the sale of marijuana?”
- 70% YES
- 30% NO
On September 10, 2020, WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters interviewed Erik Brooks (D-South Milwaukee) who is running for the 21st Assembly District in the upcoming general election.
Erik Brooks is the Mayor of South Milwaukee. At the 9:53 mark he manages to smirk about the issue, says he is sometimes proud to go against the democrats and on the issue and on marijuana reform, he gives an “OK with medical” but sites concerns as a parent of a 7th grader and sophomore to them having easier access and as an elected official his public health concerns about addiction lead him to believe it is a gateway drug. Listen for yourself below, it is a minute long…
Republican assembly representative Jessie Rodriquez from Oak Creek has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2013.
March 2020 Republicans circulated a decriminalization bill for co-sponsorship which she failed to co-sponsor.
Rodriguez received a failing grade from NORML during the 2019-20 legislative session.
On September 17, 2020, WisconsinEye senior producer Steve Walters interviewed incumbent Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) who is running for re-election for the 21st Assembly District in the upcoming general election. At the 9:53 mark Rep. Rodriguez now says she can support medical “if” so long it was not used to legalize recreational marijuana (Editor note: WTF? Slippery Slope theory was addressed by her own Republican party in the above mentioned bills… I don’t think she listened to her colleagues or read her caucus memos. Anyways, back to the minute or so she spends on the topic she manages to move right from the slippery slope into the gateway theory and sites law enforcement concerns of medical diversion to the the recreational market….. anyways, she kind of made me sick after watching it and makes me sicker knowing she will probably get re-elected…….
Contact: Email: Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wisconsin.gov
General Election is Tuesday November 3rd, 2020
Learn more about requesting an absentee ballot / voting by mail at MyVote.Wi.Gov
I archive these statements because marijuana reform is coming and we need to hold elected officials accountable. I read this news article and basically see the need to hold a public hearing on medical cannabis and to deny that any longer is now making the Republicans look horrible, especially since we have a majority of the Republicans in the Assembly telling us they support “medical marijuana”. The failure of Assembly Leader Vos to move legislation is making him look bad and will bring about changes withing the Republican party.
Do these three Republicans support marijuana reform? I get asked that often and until they author, co-author or co-sponsor legislation on the issue I say they are not supporters and just are giving us lip service. But at this point I have to say Steineke is a NO, Rohrkaste is maybe and Murphy is a YES.
APPLETON – Last fall, voters in nonbinding referendums in 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin overwhelmingly favored proposals surrounding the legalization of marijuana.
Some focused on medical use only, while others involved recreational use.
Now, those who supported the referendums may be pleased to see Gov. Tony Evers’ latest proposal for marijuana-related legislation. Others are opposing portions of his plan, saying decriminalization for small amounts goes too far.
Barbara Stucki of Oshkosh, thinks legalizing marijuana will have more benefits than drawbacks.
“It’s not the gateway drug that people think it is and it helps to alleviate pain and many, many diseases,” she said. “I just think there’s a lot of states that have already legalized it, so I think it’s a medicine that should be legalized.”
Evers said last week that he wants to create a medical marijuana program regulated by the state’s health and agriculture departments. He also favors decriminalizing possession of small amounts of for personal use, expunging convictions for possessing, manufacturing or distributing 25 grams or less of marijuana, and aligning state laws on cannabidiol, or CBD oil, with federal standards.
Wisconsin law requires a physician to give a yearly certification for families to access CBD oil.
In December, Appleton sent a resolution to the state expressing the city’s support for legalizing marijuana for medicinal use and removing it as a Schedule 1 drug, which is considered to have a high potential for abuse and can’t be accepted as medical treatment.
While Outagamie County did not hold a fall referendum about the issue, officials have been exploring the pros and cons of legalizing medical marijuana. The County Board has yet to vote on the matters.
Public Safety Committee chairman Dan Grady said he fully supports Evers’ efforts towards legalizing medical marijuana and his stance on decriminalization.
Grady said the county is planning to hold a referendum on legalizing medical marijuana in April 2020, but plans to also begin discussions on decriminalization. The proposal will go to the public safety committee for discussion next week.
John Packwood of Little Chute, who suffers from a spine disease, said he feels positive about the push to legalize medical marijuana.
“The quality of life for people with chronic pain, it would be a godsend here in Wisconsin,” Packwood said. “It would help people that are already using it because they know it helps. It would help not to have to fear for their freedom everyday just for feeling good.”
A total of 33 states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana in some form, whether for medicinal or recreational use.
Whether Wisconsin joins those states relies heavily on the Republican-controlled Legislature, where some leaders have already expressed opposition to legalizing marijuana.
State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said while he’s open to the idea of looking into medical marijuana as an option for people suffering with chronic pain, he doesn’t think the conversation of legalizing it for medical purposes and decriminalization should be held at the same time.
“Any time you’re dealing with issues like this when there’s polarizing opinion on either side, you try to find part of (the) subject that both sides are in favor of,” said Steineke, referring to the more likely bipartisan support for medical marijuana.
Steineke said medical marijuana could be helpful if it was prescribed by a doctor and limited in scope, but worries about other consequences of legalizing marijuana.
“Other states have seen dramatic rises in DUIs, overall cost in the system for services, things of that nature that people don’t truly understand,” he said.
Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, issued a statement saying he would support regulated medical marijuana if it ensures the safety of public roadways, but oppose any push to legalize recreational use.
Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah, said he would be open to discussing legalizing medical marijuana, but disagrees with the governor’s approach to try and put it in the state budget.
“Such legislation should really be dealt with outside of the budget process,” Rohrkaste said. “We need to have extensive hearings on it to fully understand it … we already have substance abuse issues that we need to really work with our medical communities (on) that whatever we do will have the best interest of people in the long run.
“We have to be cautious. If the governor or certain legislators really want to push this, let’s have some hearings on this.”
However, Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton, thinks legalizing medical marijuana will help combat the opioid crisis and decriminalization would save tax dollars by reducing the rate of jail inmates.
“I support the governor’s efforts,” Stuck said. “It seems completely unreasonable that doctors can prescribe (opioids), but they can’t prescribe marijuana.”
She said efforts taken at the city and county level proves residents in the Fox Valley are in favor of the measures.
“Our community is saying this is something they want,” Stuck said. “We as representatives should be responsive to (it).”
La Crosse Decriminalizes Small Amount of Marijuana Possession. Yes? No? Maybe so? A double veto by Mayor is overridden by La Crosse City Council. In 2010 a similar news event circulated, then in June the ordinance passed, but was veto’d again by Mayor Harter. The veto in November 2010 almost had the same override result, but not quite. The main Alderman behind the push was quoted in June saying:
“I’ll let somebody else do it,” Olson said. “I gave it my chance,” Olson told the Tribune.
Glad to see Alderman Olson and the City Council stuck to it.
Last night (July 14th, 2011) the La Crosse Common Council voted 14 to 3 to decriminalize marijuana for first-time offenders who are caught with seven grams of marijuana or less. The new ordinance goes into effect July 24.
can found found at
With a new City of La Crosse marijuana ordinance that takes effect July 24, people who are caught with seven grams of marijuana or less for the first time, could receive a ticket instead of being arrested.
“We think it sends a wrong message that it could soften attitudes about marijuana and we know when attitudes are softened, use increases,” said La Crosse Police Chief Ed Kondracki.
Chief Kondracki says juvenile arrests for marijuana use are up 50% this year. With the new ordinance, Kondracki says police officers will determine whether a ticket or arrest is appropriate on a case- to-case basis.
City council member Chris Olson, who introduced the ordinance, says getting a ticket gives people a change to change their ways.
“For a DUI, basically, they get a second chance and I think marijuana should be the same situation,” Olson said.
“I don’t think that it will change habits,” said City of La Crosse resident Jana Carter. “I think that it will kinda give the mentality that there’s more of a sense of a freedom to do it and that’s dangerous.”
But Charles Gittens says, “It’s the right thing to do because our courts are clogged up a little bit too much the way it is.”
Chief Kondracki says he just wants it to be clear that even with the new ordinance, marijuana is illegal not only in the city, but in the state.
“It is a dangerous drug and we have to be careful that we still engage in our prevention efforts,” Chief Kondracki said.
The chief says there is no set dollar amount to a ticket for possession of small amounts of marijuana yet. He says the city council will work with the municipal court judge to determine an appropriate fine.
The La Crosse Tribune article reported:
The La Crosse Common Council tonight overrode Mayor Matt Harter’s veto of an ordinance that would make first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana a municipal rather than criminal offense.
Harter said last month he vetoed the measure for a second time because the public still perceives the ordinance as showing tolerance for drug use.
District 3 council member Chris Olson’s measure allows law enforcement to cite first-time possession of up to 7 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia as a municipal offense rather than misdemeanor.
Olson argued tonight the citations would generate additional revenue for the city and provide “a first-time offender a second chance.” He criticized police Chief Ed Kondracki for saying he would not ask his officers to enforce the ordinance.
“We shouldn’t be setting policy being dictated by an individual,” Olson said.
Capt. Rob Abraham later said Olson was mistaken on the chief’s position — the department will allow officers to use the ordinance at their own discretion. He did note the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department has yet to cite anyone under a similar ordinance.
Harter’s veto of a similar measure in November ended up two votes shy of an override.
The council also overrode all of Harter’s vetoes on filling nine vacant positions.
Gary Storck, the Madison NORML Examiner also pointed out important information about decriminalization throughout the state:
While La Crosse has resisted marijuana decriminalization, other locations in Wisconsin including Madison and Eau Claire have had it since the 1970s. A change in state law from the 1990s allows counties and municipalities to make amounts less than 25 grams a civil infraction. The state is now covered by a patchwork of state law and local decrim ordinances, some allowing up to 25 grams, others capped at much less. Dane County adopted a new policy in March 2007 that all amounts under 25 grams had to be processed as a local or county ordinance violation.
Phillip Smith of StopTheDrugWar.com also covered the news from Wisconsin, reporting in part:
But a police spokesman later said that Olson was mistaken and that the department would allow officers to issue citations under the ordinance if they wished. The spokesman also noted that the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department has yet to cite anyone under a similar county ordinance, instead charging them under state law.
La Crosse isn’t the first Wisconsin locality to decriminalize pot possession. Madison, the state capital, did in 1977, and Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, did in 1997.
Leaders from the La Crosse, Wisconsin and Winona, Minnesota region Americans for Safe Access Coalition are very happy to hear this news. The group has interest in creating a signature drive or initiative to bring a medical marijuana referendum to their community. Leaders have found renewed support from local officials, as well as activists in the field. Stay tuned for more information or if you would like to help directly in La Crosse, please feel free to email email@example.com for more information. Thank you.
Additional news reports and information about the La Crosse area can be found in the “La Crosse” category or by clicking.
This is the general schedule for each month.
Please use this as a general reference.
Regular meetings of the Common Council are held on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 P.M.
Committee of the Whole meetings are held on the Tuesday immediately preceding each regular meeting of the Common Council at 7:30 P.M.
Please refer to theand available information from the
We have worked in this district and during the 2018 campaign had Republican (James) opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, having a great deal to say about it, adding he wants to be a leader on the issue?
But having Law Enforcement (Republican James) on our side for medical marijuana cannot hurt, as the then candidate James expressed support for medical cannabis.
Sticking to a campaign promise and having sponsored medical marijuana legislation his first term as a freshman Republican earned this legislator a B- rating.
Holds office State Assembly District 68. Link to Full Scorecard Vote
Rep. James Position on Marijuana Legalization: Opposed; State Representative Jesse James (R) Altoona and former Altoona Police Chief says he is against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
“We need to take into consideration the states that have already legalized marijuana and look at the impact it has had,” James says. “This is a very complicated issue.”
He says there is a big focus on marijuana legislation, especially now that it has been legalized in two neighboring states.
“There are emails that come daily regarding the legalization of marijuana,” James says. “I also want to be the spokesperson that educates people to at least take a moment and try to understand the impact but let’s look at the future and the devastation that is going to come because it will.”
Rep. James Position on Medical Marijuana: Supports, sponsored limited medical marijuana program with no smoking/no home grows.
However James does support medical marijuana. He says the senate will not look at it this session but it is something that could be considered by the assembly in the near future and possibly next session.
“It is something we should be able to support because it will help so many people with medical conditions,” James says.
Contact Jesse James, Email: Rep.James@legis.wisconsin.gov, Web: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/68/James, Phone: 608-266-9172
Not new to marijuana reform, Emily Berge is currently serving on the Eau Claire City County and she voted in favor of lowering the marijuana fine to $1 which ended up passing council. I reached out to her campaign and she reminded me of the above and added:
Thank you for reaching out to me. Considering that in 2018, 67% of Clark County voters voted in favor of medical marijuana and 54% of voters in Eau Claire County voted in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana (and another 31% voted for medical marijuana ), I think it is essential to work towards marijuana reform. Since the 68th Assembly District includes these counties with Eau Claire County being the largest county in the district, it is clear where most of my district stands on marijuana reform.
Learn more at campaign of Emily Berge by following her campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/berge4wisconsin
Learn more about how to register to vote at MyVote.wi.gov
Learn more about requesting an absentee ballot / voting by mail at MyVote.Wi.Gov
Some people say part of the problem with politics is the acceptance of main stream media outlets that showcase a two party system. People perhaps feel the system is broken from the start and are disengaged from the beginning. Putting people back into politics should first start by people on the ballot and then voting based on the name of the candidate on the ballot, not the party that paid for them.
Perception sometimes leads people to believe the only people supporting marijuana reform are third party candidates. Perhaps we should look at the traditional candidates who support reform of marijuana, but yet do not talk about hemp and cannabis with the truth, honesty and compassion of the third parties. Perhaps ‘they’ do not want attention drawn to “the” issue that could take some of their power away and give it back to the people. People believe that this is no more evident than right here in our district and race for state assembly, where all candidates support reform and consider it to be part of the solutions to the problems we face.
Can we afford to elect leaders not willing speak out, up and often?
Vote smart, Vote Selthofner!
Sincerely, A Voter looking for change
Recently Doug Fine was on the Conan O’Brien talking about his new book “Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Revolution”. The segment received some feedback, comments and discussion from field activists on the forum boards of the Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Network. A few days later Ben Merens of Wisconsin Public Radio had Doug Fine on his show At Issue. As soon as the broadcast started, I received some texts and phone calls from the supporters in the field that the topic was on the Wisconsin Public Radio airwaves, again. Here is the link to listen to the audio of the broadcast: bme120809k
At Issue with Ben Merens
from Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Law enforcement and other spending at the federal level on the Drug War was 15.5 billion in 2010, an increase of 3.3 percent from the previous year. But is all that effort and money necessary? This hour, Ben Merens talks to investigative journalist Doug Fine about marijuana. Fine believes that legalizing cannabis would aid American agriculture, grow the economy, and improve our health.
Doug Fine – investigative journalist and author of Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Revolution bme120809k