As July celebrates hemp month and its variety of uses, many in Wisconsin are wondering if the dairy state will follow the lead of Michigan and Illinois in legalizing cannabis in the near future. Even though the budget the Wisconsin senate recently passed scratched Governor Tony Evers’ proposal for legal marijuana, one city of Sturgeon Bay Common Council member refuses to shy away from the discussion.
Alderman for the city of Sturgeon Bay’s sixth district, Seth Wiederanders, says he’s absolutely for Wisconsin moving ahead with legalization. Wiederanders is largely responsible for the current stipulation surrounding marijuana use in Sturgeon Bay as his proposal removing fines for using it on private property was passed in 2019. Along with medical benefits, Wiederanders finds Wisconsin to be losing tax dollars from legal marijuana sales to Illinois and Michigan. Wiederanders find the process of gerrymandering to be the biggest hold-up in legalization.
Though Wiederanders doesn’t know exactly what the cannabis industry in Sturgeon Bay would look like if legalized, he does think there would be entrepreneurs ready to cash in and help the local economy. When speaking with constituents on the issue, Wiederanders says there’s very few opponents of legalization, citing his surprise to see the reaction to his proposal two years ago.
Wiederanders feels like it’s inevitable that Wisconsin will pass allowing recreational use, but is just dragging its feet.