The City of Berlin in Wisconsin is again the attention of the state as it quickly tries to push through a ban on Delta 8 THC. This small city in central Wisconsin has a long history with hemp cannabis, as does much of the county and entire state. This has been an uphill battle with community leaders to adopt common sense marijuana laws within the municipality ever since I first became a cannabis activist back in 2009.
Our Past Work
In 2010 I created and organized the THC (Talking Hemp and Cannabis) Expo that featured Berlin as the first stop on the tour. Attendees of this first ever type event packed the local library in the City of Berlin. The expo featured a number of speakers and we openly discussed cannabis. There were many highlights from this event, but one most note worthy was that of Mieko Hester-Perez traveling from California to speak with attendees about how marijuana/THC helped save her son’s life. My work attracted the attention of regional leaders in the Wisconsin marijuana movement and they gathered in Berlin later that same year. I ran for State Assembly in 2010 which generated many a discussion about marijuana reform in the local newspapers.
In 2019, then City Council Member Joel Bruessel proposed the city of Berlin legalize marijuana themselves and no longer wait for the state to take action. The council tabled the motion to legalize marijuana and from what I could gather, the support just was not there in the council to be progressive on the issue of cannabis reform. The two “NAYS” came from Bruessels himself and Alderman Josh Nigbor.
In 2021 Joel Bruessel ran for and was elected to Mayor of the City of Berlin and this seat is up for re-election in April 0f 2023. In the Fall of 2021 the Democratic Party of Wisconsin held a regional picnic for members in Berlin which set the stage for 100% of the currently elected Democrats to support legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin.
Republicans on Delta 8
Delta 8 THC has already caught the attention of Republicans who requested more information from the State of Wisconsin Legislative Council and in 2020 issued a memo explaining the legality of Delta 8 THC. Delta 8 THC is widely sold throughout Wisconsin in a variety of retail settings as well as available for purchase over the internet. Many CBD products sold in Wisconsin may contain trace amounts of Delta 8 THC. As of the date of the this article, no state wide legislation has been circulated for co-sponsorship that would ban or specifically regulate Delta 8.
In 2020 Luke Dretske from Berlin made an attempt for an State Assembly Run in 2020 in which he received 16% of the vote during the Republican primary. Dretske is opposed to cannabis reform, he stated “not for recreational marijuana at all“, calls marijuana “very dangerous”, stated “is against any form of medical marijuana” during June 25th candidate forum.
Luke Dretske again expressed his “strong” opposition against regulating marijuana for use by responsible adults, adding he does not want that in our streets, he has saw people in college and community ruined by drugs. He seems to reinforce the debunked “gateway theory”. He closed out his WI Eye candidate interview by saying he is still hesitant on medical cannabis and wanted to get the facts and met with right people.
The Luke Dretske Political Facebook Profile states he is now an Alderperson for Berlin City Council Ward 1 and 7 and County Supervisor District 17 for Green Lake County. Just recently elected in April 2022 to his seats after the Republican Primary defeat, both City of Berlin and Green Lake County residents are paying attention to this young man and his reefer madness.
Now I read on Facebook that the City Council of Berlin is moving quickly on a ordinance to ban Delta 8 THC derived from Industrial Hemp.
If you are a City of Berlin resident, I strongly urge you to call/email the City Council Members with your feelings on this issue. Green Lake County residents should speak up also.
If you are a non resident of Berlin (Green Lake County) but are a cannabis activist, your input on this proposed banning of Delta 8 THC in Berlin is no doubt needed also.
City of Berlin Mayor and Council Members
The City of Berlin Common Council generally meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., and the Committee of the Whole meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Meetings are held in the Council Chambers on the second floor at City Hall, located at 108 N. Capron St. Special meetings are also held when required. Contact the City Clerk for a specific meeting schedule at 920-361-5400.
All meetings are open to the public, although on occasion the Council may meet in closed session to discuss a subject permitted by the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law to be held in closed session (such as negotiations, personnel evaluations, property purchases or other strategic matters).
Public notice is given of all meetings, including closed sessions, stating the date, time, location and topics to be considered. All meeting notices are posted on the bulletin board located on the first floor of City Hall. The full agenda packet with copies of ordinances, resolutions, reports and other supporting documentation is available for public review at the City Clerk’s office prior to each meeting. Public participation is encouraged and can be done through the Public Participation Policy where a member of the public can register to speak on an issue by submitting a Public Participation Registration Form to the Mayor or City Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.
Green Lake County
Green Lake County Board of Supervisors Meets
February, March, May, June, August, September, October, December
Third Tuesday – 6:00pm
Third Tuesday – 9:00am
Tuesday after 2nd Monday – 6:00pm
No meetings January or July
For exact meetings times, please see the calendar of events.