Wisconsin Democratic Governor Candidates Embrace Marijuana Legalization

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The Wisconsin primary isn’t until August, but that doesn’t mean candidates aren’t already staking out their positions. And it turns out some of them are coming out swinging for marijuana legalization.

Several Democrats running for their party’s nomination for Wisconsin governor have come out in favor of marijuana legalization. Former state Democratic Party Matt Flynn said at a meeting in front of a chapter of NORML that he would erase all cannabis-related drug convictions and pardon prisoners serving time for those offenses. At that same meeting former chief of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Mike McCabe said he’d support full-on marijuana legalization.

McCabe and Flynn are the two biggest pro-marijuana candidates in the race, and have repeatedly brought up the issue in their campaigns. But other candidates support legalization as well. Firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell and state Rep. Dana Wachs both supporting overturning the state’s current laws, and Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik and state schools Superintendent Tony Evers both said they would approve of marijuana legalization, but only if it were enacted through voter referendum. State Senator Kathleen Vinehout proposed a bill to legalize hemp production in the state, and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says he’d b open to recreational sales as well.

A 2016 poll showed that 59 percent of Wisconsinites support marijuana legalization, so perhaps all of these candidates supporting the issue are trying to garner popular support. But considering pretty much every Democrat in the race supports the issue, it may turn into a non-factor.

Current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, opposes marijuana legalization efforts. So getting a Democrat in the race who supports pro-legalization policies could help them unseat the incumbent.

There’s still several months to go until the Wisconsin primary, and it’s not clear who will represent the Democrats in the race. But no matter who it is, it will probably be a good news for marijuana.