Minnesota is the closest it has ever been to passing full legalization of cannabis in the state. The Cannabis Omnibus Bill passed the House on Tuesday and now is headed to a Senate committee before it goes up for a vote in the Senate. The Minnesota Democrats have a slight lead in the Senate, and it should be enough for the bill to become law, making Minnesota the next Midwestern State to legalize recreational marijuana. Wisconsin currently doesn't have any legal marijuana, including medicinal. That could change this fall.

Wisconsin GOP Leaders Plan

Several Wisconsin GOP lawmakers have been putting together a plan for introducing medical marijuana to the legislature to vote on. DFL leaders in Wisconsin, including Governor Tony Evers, are pushing for full legalization, which likely wouldn't pass the GOP majority House or Senate. They've tried in recent years, and it's never made any progress, dying in sub-committees before ever having a vote.

Wisconsin Republicans Try To Push Through Legislation Aimed At Limiting Incoming Democrats Power
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"We are not Illinois. We are not California. We are not Colorado. We are a state that's at best purple. And Purple is not legalization of recreational marijuana."

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says that Assembly Republicans are working together to build enough support to bring some form of medical marijuana to Wisconsin. Vos hopes to introduce the bill this fall. However, he and other members of his party are against recreational legalization, or any type of medical program that could lead to it, according to the Associated Press. He referenced that Wisconsin is at best a purple state (meaning mixed between the blue Democrat and red Republican parties.)

Wisconsin Democrats aren't holding their breath.

Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard basically has said that talk is cheap and action means more than words. She says that in previous sessions, Vos has come forward with empty promises and no actual steps forward for any form of legalization in Wisconsin.

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4 out of 5 Wisconsinites support Medical Marijuana legalization.

80%, that's 4 out of 5 people in Wisconsin, back legalizing cannabis for medical use. The number that supports full recreational legalization isn't quite as strong at 64%. That's still a majority of support you won't find on many issues.

Wisconsin Senate Is Less Open

Even if a medical legalization bill passed the Assembly, it would still need to pass the Senate, which is less open to legalization. However, the Senate Majority Leader says that it could pass as long as regulations would be in place to make sure it's being used by people in serious pain.

If Minnesota passes recreational marijuana, Wisconsin will be an island of prohibition in the Midwest.

A welcome sign at the Michigan state line.
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Minnesota and Iowa already have medical marijuana programs in place. Michigan and Illinois have fully legalized marijuana. Wisconsin is the only state currently where no legalization has taken place in the region. If Minnesota passes recreational marijuana, Wisconsin will border three states where its residents can drive to buy marijuana. And, those states will sell it to them too. 

Illinois reported raking in $36 million dollars in taxes from sales to Wisconsin Residents in 2022, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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