In 2018 when Barb Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc): https://bit.ly/2BYy4XN faced off against Melissa Winker (D-Oconomowoc): https://bit.ly/2CplsKo it seemed that the Republican Dittrich jumped on the CBD bandwagon, but strongly opposed marijuana reform. She went onto win the election in the Fall of 2018.
The GOP Spring Survey her office conducted in the Spring of 2019 did show 541 individuals responded to the specific question regarding marijuana legalization:
o 284 individuals were in favor of marijuana legalization (in some form)
o 257 individuals were opposed entirely
During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750) which she as a newly elected and first year Republican failed to co-sponsor.
Current Committees Rep. Dittrich 2019-2020
- Committee on Financial Institutions
- Committee on Jobs and the Economy
- Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment
- Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight
- Committee on Small Business Development
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Committee on Workforce Development (Vice-Chair)
- Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption (Chair)
I do not know about you, but I can see how the topic of marijuana reform can be brought up in each of these committees, especially by a member who understands marijuana reform. Should we take a quick roll through the above committee assignment Rep. Dittrich has and how they could relate to marijuana reform?
- Committee on Financial Institutions – Banking issues plague the hemp cannabis industry.
- Committee on Jobs and the Economy – Enough said
- Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment – Remove THC from Drug/Employment Testing
- Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight – Medical Marijuana
- Committee on Small Business Development – Enough said
- Committee on Ways and Means – tax reform
- Committee on Workforce Development (Vice-Chair) – THC Testing / New Cannabis Industry
- Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption (Chair) – families with special needs (pediatric medical marijuana patients
In January 2020 Rep. Dittrich drew a large amount of public criticism for her Facebook Comment on a news repost about Wisconsin workers who use legal weed in Illinois facing issues complications back home. Her lead comment along with the re-post was “At a time where we have more job openings than available workers and reckless driving is at an epidemic level, legalizing recreational marijuana is not helpful.”
The post drew over 100 comments to her page. That is huge for a elected official. Most of the comments left were pro-marijuana reform and obviously not from the district. This led Rep. Dittrich to revise her post with some additional comments:
While I agree that bantering with nasty comments do not solve the problems Wisconsin, neither does an elected official pointing a finger at marijuana for problems that marijuana reform / legalization would help address. It was obvious from her candidate video she is vehemently opposed to THC in any form. As a member of a committee that could oversee potential workers issues and THC as well as other committees that could see other marijuana reform, her “facts” should be brought up and debated in a public hearing, not behind closed doors.
By her Facebook edit above I would have guessed she had not changed her stance on marijuana reform / THC, but later that month I was surprised by Rep. Dittrich when she broke ranks on her own rule and commented to a non-resident about medical marijuana. Rep. Dittrich stated “Do you know we (Republicans) have a medical cannabis bill that has been introduced? I am opposed to recreational use but not opposed to looking at medical solutions.”
Maybe Rep Dittrich is not opposed to changing the law to eliminate misdemeanor and felony of simple possession of cannabis through a decriminalization measure? Maybe she will co-sponsor the THC Workplace Testing bill? Maybe she will co-sponsor the Republican medical marijuana bill so come re-election time she can say she supported the bill? Who knows what makes these legislators change their minds, who knows what conversations they are having. The only conversation you can be certain they had is the one with you ……