Sessions with WI Senator Felzkowski and Rep. Callahan will be held Oct 7th, 2021:
- Tomahawk, WI – Tomahawk VFW Post 2687 at 9am
- Elcho, WI – 11:30am in Elcho Community Pavilion
- Aniwa, WI – 1:45pm in Aniwa at the Community Center.
Oct 8th WI Senator Felzkowski and Rep. Swearingen will be holding sessions also:
- Hiles, WI – Hiles Town Hall at 9am
- Lake Tomahawk, WI – Raymond Sloan Community Center at 11:30am
- Boulder Junction, WI – Boulder Junction Public Library at 2:30pm.
Town Hall Meetings and Listening Sessions are an excellent time to meet with your elected officials one on one. Always remember to bring something of value to the table. For example:
Do you plan to attend and need background information and talking points? Or perhaps you are reporting the results of your meeting. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This listening session is hosted by Senator Mary Felzkowski (R) and Assembly Rep. Calvin Callahan. Senator Felzkowski is the Majority Caucus Assistant Leader. She has been a leader in the Republican Party on cannabis reform. The Senator supports decriminalization and medical marijuana.
Senator Felzowski has fought an uphill battle. She has had the worse committee assignments ever for the legislation she authored to start a medical marijuana program in 2019.
This Senator Gets an A+ for Effort!
Felzkowski has written and sponsored a bill. She has given multiple positive news statements on this topic. She understands a great deal about marijuana law reform. Her willingness to learn more and all the extra credit she is doing helps secure her solid rating with activists.
Now that Senate Leader Devin LeMahieu has taken medical off the table until the Feds and FDA are regulating it, will Felzkowski be the first Republican to present a legalization bill for consideration?
Rep. Callahan (R- ) Took over for Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) as she moved up to the Senate. Felzkowski has been an outspoken Republican trying to move something medical marijuana related into a public hearing.
And Now, Back to Callahan.
Rep Callahan he did not respond to any or our candidate surveys. Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) also did not conduct a WI EYE Interview in which candidates were asked about their stance on marijuana reform.
So, 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. Case in point is this guy.
Who is Rep Calvin Callahan?
Calvin Callahan made his debut to the cannabis conversation on WPR Route 51 on March 5th, 2021 episode called “Legislative Quarterly”. 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. Listen to the interview.
Although Calvin Callahan (R) indicates he is getting used to his job as a freshman assembly rep regarding procedures and such, he also is throwing up the signs of a prohibitionist.
Now that Callahan is an elected official, he has co-sponsored a bill to increase penalties for cannabis consumers using butane hash oil products (BHO).
Assembly Bill 440 is the number and guess what, Rep. Callahan is also a member of the Assembly Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention which will be the committee that handles his own bill AB 440.
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 said “I’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.”
Constituents Overwhelmingly Vote Yes
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 bills were stuck and died in the committee which he is the leader of. Most likely future medical marijuana legislation will die in committee under the watchful eye of Committee Chair Rob Swearingen.
Rep. Swearingen maybe pushing “pill only form” of legislation, but he is still denying any cannabis reform from public hearings in his committee.
Our best bet with them at this point is to work on decriminalization measures and get them to support the Republican decriminalization bill SB 164 / AB 130.
The total legalization adult use/medical marijuana bill is also out for circulation for co-sponsorship. LRB 4361 has been assigned Senate Bill #545.
In addition, if attending, you will want to express your opposition to SB 440 / AB 440, which would increase penalties for butane hash oil manufacturing, sales and also simple possession. Review Senate Bill 440 / AB 440.
Tips and Tricks
Bring a friend, there is always strength in numbers. Do not argue, and be respectful. Just showing up and saying the actual bill numbers and that you support SB 164, SB 545 and oppose SB 440 is huge.
Reach out and develop a relationship with your elected officials, they are only human and make mistakes. Pencils have erasers for a reason and cannabis conversations with constituents are credited with changing politicians minds all the time.