Kirk Bangstad (D) to challenge Rob Swearingen (R)
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Kirk Bangstad (D) to challenge Rob Swearingen (R)

Wisconsin’s 34th Assembly District encompasses Oneida, Vilas, Florence, and a portion of Forest County. The district is located in northern Wisconsin, along the border of Wisconsin and Michigan.

Rep. Rob Swearingen Marijuana Record
Rep. Rob Swearingen Marijuana Record

Republican Rob Swearingen Chairs of the Assembly Committee of State Affairs, which is/was “in charge” of medical marijuana for the 2019-20 legislative session. He was one the Republicans that gutted everything marijuana reform related from the budget, calling for the issue(s) to be addressed outside the budget. The next step in the process was to hold a public hearing on the issue. Rep Swearingen in February 2020 saidI’d be willing to look at a proposal for medical marijuana as long as it was prescribed by a doctor and filled by a licensed pharmacy.”

Rep Swearingen held his very own Spring 2019 GOP Survey and results yielded 63% support medical marijuana.

Well, he lied, again. The past medical marijuana legislation fit that bill by definition came, Senate Bill 507 / Assembly Bill 570 (Medical Marijuana with home grows/smoking) and then the Republican Caucus bill vetted to get a public hearing arrived Assembly Bill 750 / Senate Bill 683 (Creation of a Medical Marijuana Program). Both are stuck in the committee he is the leader of. Most likely medical marijuana legislation will die in committee under the watchful eye of Committee Chair Rob Swearingen.

Holds office State Assembly District 34

In the video below, Rep. Swearingen visits a “recreational marijuana social club” shortly after Michigan legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older. There was a great deal of confusion early on after the Michigan ballot initiative passed about how “social clubs” would be regulated. None the less, this is not a licensed and regulated medical marijuana provisioning center in Michigan and to draw any correlation to the two is dishonest at best.

Contact Rob Swearingen

Email: Rep.Swearingen@legis.wisconsin.gov

Web: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/swearingen/Pages/default.aspx

Phone: 608-266-7141

Link to Rep. Swearingen 2019-20 Legislative Scorecard

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Kirk Bangstad from Minocqua is the Democrat challenger on the ticket. His website says he currently owns the Minocqua Brewing Company, a large brewpub in Minocqua, WI, and decided to run after observing an absolute failure of leadership during the trying Spring of 2020, when Rob Swearingen and his Republican colleagues failed to listen to health experts and forced Wisconsinites to vote in person during a global pandemic, when we were all being told to shelter-at-home.

We have a field activist in the district and the Incumbent was a target district, so we know there is some high activity in the area and hoped a viable challenger would emerge and embrace the issue. Mr. Bangstad not only took the time to chat with us, he personally addressed his campaign via Facebook. He followed up with his answers to our 2020 Candidate Questionnaire. We look forward to working with him should he defeat Swearingen.

Please indicate any marijuana-related legislation you have sponsored, co-sponsored, or publicly supported.
On a July 5 Facebook post, I explained the reasons for legalizing marijuana.
Over three dozen US states and territories, not including Wisconsin, are regulating marijuana for medical and/or adult-use, despite marijuana’s federal illegality. Ending federal prohibition would alleviate the tension between these states and the US government and allow states to set their own policies free from federal interference. Do you support or oppose ending the federal prohibition of marijuana?
Support
Please provide a position statement regarding legalizing the medical use of marijuana.
According to several studies, marijuana helps relieve suffering and stress. It is also less dangerous – individually and socially – than alcohol. States should be free to regulate marijuana, free of federal interference.
Do you support or oppose decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana?
Support
Please provide a position statement regarding decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana.
• Simple possession of marijuana is not a threat to public safety or health. The criminalization of simple possession of marijuana has been a major factor in mass incarceration, especially among communities of color. This is both a social justice issue and an economic one because of the high cost of prisons and the needless use of police to enforce these unjust laws.
The prohibition of marijuana allows for the disproportionate criminalization of black and brown Wisconsinites, despite similar rates of consumption across all races and ethnicities. The impacts of marijuana criminalization are far reaching and include long-lasting collateral consequences well beyond the criminal charge. Do you support the automatic expungement of non-violent marijuana possession convictions?
Yes
Please provide a position statement regarding automatic expungement of non-violent marijuana possession convictions.
As a matter of social justice, people should not be imprisoned for non-violent marijuana possession. As an economic matter, we should save taxpayer money
Legalizing the responsible adult-use of marijuana provides states the opportunity to take marijuana off the street corner and place it behind an age-verified counter to better provide for consumer and public safety and prevent youth access. Taxing and regulating the adult-use of marijuana also provides economic stimulus through job creation and tax revenue. Do you support or oppose legalizing and regulating the responsible use of marijuana by adults?
Support
Please provide a position statement regarding legalizing and regulating the responsible use of marijuana by adults.
There are several strong arguments for full legalization:
o Marijuana is known to be less addictive and socially dangerous than alcohol. It should be legal, regulated, and taxed in a way similar to alcohol.
o Such a change would remove marijuana distribution from drug dealers to registered businesses, which will reduce risks to public safety and prevent youth access.
o The taxes obtained from the sale of marijuana could be put to many good uses, including drug treatment and prevention. Such funds are particularly needed during our economic recession.
I support decriminalization and followed by a statewide referendum so the people can decide if they want legalization of recreational marijuana. I assume that would pass, and that process would give greater buy-in and support for the change and help quiet the critics.

Learn more about the campaign of Kirk Bangstand by following his campaign on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kirkbangstad/ and also visiting his website at: https://www.bangstadforwisconsin.com/

General Election is Tuesday November 3rd, 2020.

Learn more about how to register to vote at https://norml.org/act/register-to-vote or MyVote.wi.gov

Learn more about requesting an absentee ballot / voting by mail at MyVote.Wi.Gov

Wisconsin Marijuana Voter Information
Wisconsin Marijuana Voter Information