I was a major contributor to a variety to marijuana voter guides for the 2020 general election. During the research of the project I was able to find out the views about marijuana reform from many candidates running for office. A record number of candidates on the Republican side supported reform when questioned and it was hard to find a Democratic candidate that did not have marijuana reform as part of their platform. Obviously not every candidate supporting reform won, but many did and it is obvious that a majority of our elected officials support reforming the marijuana laws.
I was not able to find a stance on every candidate. Although the WI-Eye interviews included a marijuana question, not every candidate did an interview. That was the case for Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) as he did not conduct a WI EYE Interview. The former Assembly Representative for this district was Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma). Felzkowski was one of the most outspoken Republicans on marijuana reform last session, drawing attention with her bill to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin.
Is it safe to assume a “file of marijuana information from the district” comes along with job change? Probably not. Is is safe to assume the incoming legislator will support what the former legislator was working on? Probably not.
Calvin Callahan had his debut to the cannabis conversation on WPR Route 51 on March 5th, 2021 episode called “Legislative Quarterly”.
I will let you listen to the radio program, it also contains cannabis warrior Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point. The cannabis portion starts at approximately 26:04.
Republican Callahan gives the standard “medical marijuana could be an option, but I want to learn more before making an opinion…..” or something like that…. again listen to the interview. Although Calvin Callahan (R) indicates is getting used to his job as a freshman assembly rep, with procedures and such, he also is throwing up the signs of a prohibitionist also.
The interviewer and Democrat Shankland point out that marijuana is not going away, even if the Republicans remove it from the budget again and they stress stand alone bills will be presented this session, just like the previous sessions going back over a decade.
I was disappointed the neither of the legislators mentioned the active stand alone decriminalization bill during this conversation. The interviewer could have also, but everyone wants to talk about the good or bad of Governor Evers Marijuana Budget provisions and again, this Republican led decriminalization bill gets no attention. Remember Governor Evers included decriminalization in his first budget.
Adult use cannabis legislation has been stalled in committee session after session, and having another new Republican like Callahan come aboard and cite the same old concerns the GOP has tried to used in the public eye for years vs addressing the elephant in the room that the prohibition of marijuana is not working does not do Wisconsin nor democracy justice.
We had Rep. Calvin Callahan in the “unknown stance” category before this interview. After this interview he moves into the opposed category. If you disagree, let me know in the comments.
Rep. Calvin Callahan Telephone: (608) 266-7694; emailto:Rep.Callahan@legis.wisconsin.gov
Link to 35th Assembly District Map Areas of: Lincoln, Langlade, Marathon and Oneida Counties including but not limited to Merrill, Tomahawk, Antigo, Pelican Lake, Irma, Gleason, Summit Lake, Deerbrook, Aniwa, Mattoon, Birnamwood, Eland and Bowler.Wisconsin State Assembly Marijuana Reform Support by Jay Selthofner
With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, we request key Senate and Assembly allies to form the first-ever Wisconsin Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform, work to reform state cannabis laws and make marijuana a priority for Wisconsin!