WI State Senate

83% Support for medical marijuana in Wisconsin
83% Support for medical marijuana in Wisconsin

As an Assembly Representative he ignored constituents on the issue starting back in 2010.  As a Senator he repeats his past performance.

“Open to medical”, “medical marijuana use regulated by a doctor”, “supports medical marijuana” are all things we can find in the news archives and what we hear from him in district of Green Bay.  He has been around since the late 80s and we are sure he has heard from enough people over the years to form his opinion and muster courage to sponsor a bill. 

We have Senator Carpenter labeled as a cannabis supporter.  We are not aware that he sponsored adult use or decriminalization measures.  In the past he was against medical marijuana patients growing their own medicine and it appears he has a change of heart as he did sponsor AB 570 in the 2019-20 session, which was medical marijuana legislation with home grows.

A consistent and reliable sponsor of Adult Use, Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization.

Wisconsin’s historic bipartisan cannabis decriminalization bill back in 2017 included a number of sponsors of cannabis law reform legislation not seen before the decades and then Republican Assembly Representative Dale Kooyenga was an author of that bill.    On the campaign trail in 2018 he expressed support for medical cannabis and was highly expected to join other Republican Senators in supporting the issue in the 2019-2020 legislation session.  

Unfortunately, Senator Kooyenga received cold feet in not signing on as a co-sponsor to either version of the medical marijuana bills during the 2019-2020 sessions.  If Senator Kooyenga had signed on, it would have assured majority support in the Senate on the issue and made advancing bills through committee an easier process.

In 2019-20 Senator Johnson sponsored both Adult Use / Recreational Marijuana and the medical marijuana bill that would allow home grows and smoking products for patients.   She did not sponsor the decriminalization measure. 

In 2019 Senator Larson sponsored Adult Use, Grow Your Own/Smoking Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization and that is all we can ask.  Larson was re-elected to the Wisconsin State Senate for a third term in November 2018.

She has held this Senate seat for nearly 30 years and held onto her prohibitionist position just as long.  

He was not as vocal opponent of reform until he was elected Senate Majority Leader. Now he uses the “It remains illegal at the federal government” and when asked about the GOP push for a medical marijuana start up bill to become law, he uses the “FDA” as an excuse.

Although past news articles have quoted Rep. Stafsholt as “supporting” medical marijuana and decriminalization, he has failed to sponsor any legislation on the issue and has given contradicting statements on medical marijuana according to news archives

Voting NO to hemp along side Sentor Stroebel gives a clue into the mind of the legislator.  Dismissing public polling and district support seals the deal on Senator Nass failing grade for consecutive sessions.  

She is fighting an uphill battle in the worse committee assignments ever for her legislation she authored to start a medical marijuana program in 2019.   She has sponsored a bill, giving multiple positive news statements and understands a great deal about the topic of marijuana reform.  Her willingness to learn more and all the extra credit she is doing helps secure her solid rating with activists.

Senator Jagler has been “swayed” to support medical marijuana while still as an Assembly Rep. He did sit on the committee for the 2019-20 that medical marijuana bills.   As a Republican he did not officially co-sponsor any medical marijuana legislation, but he did express the need for a public hearing on adult use / recreational marijuana and with a little work he could easily be a medical marijuana leader and lead the conversation on cannabis reform within the Republican Party.

Rep. Ballweg seemed sympathetic back in 2009 while the Republicans were in the minority under a Dem controlled legislature. 2010 changed as Republicans took control and basically killed everything marijuana related, always. Since then, Rep. Ballweg has really failed on the issue.

During 2019, Assembly Republicans worked on the issue and prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Assembly Bill 750 / Senate Bill 683) which Rep. Ballweg (R-Markesan) failed to co-sponsor. 

March 2020 Republicans circulated a decriminalization bill for co-sponsorship which she did not co-sponsor.

NOTE: Advisory Referendums on Marijuana in 2018 passed 78% in Marquette County and 80% in Sauk County and Rep. Ballweg Constituent Surveys in 2019 had 73-83% support for marijuana reform.

Assistant Minority Leader for 2021-22, Senator Ringhand (D-Evansville) had co-sponsored the 2019-20 Grow Your Own/Smoking Medical Marijuana Bipartisan bill, but has remained “undecided” about recreational marijuana and has not co-sponsor any decriminalization measures this session. As Minority Caucus Vice Chair in the Senate, her lack of support for recreational marijuana hurts the already conservative Senate and does not set the best tone for the Democratic Caucus in general.

Elected to Assembly 2010–12. Elected to Senate since 2014. Leadership positions: Minority Caucus Vice Chair 2017; Minority Caucus Secretary 2013.

Leading the way in the Assembly for legal marijuana in Wisconsin and in 2020 she took over the seat from Senator Miller who retired. We expect high amount of activity to come from this office again this session.

After serving 10 years in the legislature, Republican Senator Marklein has not really moved on his stance.  He must not have been entertained enough because he did not even co-sponsor the Republican bill to create a medical marijuana program for Wisconsin.  The 2019 Senate Bill 683 does not allow home growing of marijuana or marijuana smoking products.  Vetted and supported by the Caucus, if Senator Marklein was a leader he would have supported this measure.  If Senator Marklein cared about the sick, dying and disabled of his district that benefit from medical marijuana, he would have done more.

In 2021-22, Marklein is the co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee that removed marijuana reform from Governor Evers budget.

Feyen gave early signs of hope to medical marijuana patients in Wisconsin during a April 2019 interview saying “he’s open to the idea“. 

During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Senate Bill 683) which he failed to co-sponsor.  The support of Senator Feyen on this legislation would have been critical in the Senate.

He continues to say he wants to hear from law enforcement and doctors.

The youngest Senate President ever in Wisconsin and he is a veteran.   Marijuana reform is not always generational as this young man does not even want to talk about it.   Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton) has ignored veterans, patients, doctors, activists, voters, colleagues and even friends on the issue for years.

In early 2021 Senator Roth changed his stance on “THC” at least in an interview or two, now to see if he co-sponsors legislation, so far, he has not. 

Most recent email from the Senator: “I’m opposed to the legalization of marijuana for any use. Many studies have shown that marijuana may lead to the use of other drugs and a destructive lifestyle. There are currently clinically approved pain therapy methods that do not have the same negative effects as marijuana.”

In the past he has issued press statements opposing reform and is always a vocal hater of the cannabis plant, even voting NO to Industrial Hemp. Senator Stroebel has blocked bills from public hearings as committee chair.

Republican Senator from Racine has not co-sponsored any legislation on marijuana reform since elected in 2010 and most likely will not move is stance of “just say no”.   After coming off a nearly 30 year career with the Racine police force, he now serves as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.  In April 2019 he wrote an entire op ed piece entitled Is it high time to legalize in Wisconsin? No … The harmful effects on health and society outweigh any potential benefits

During 2019, the Assembly Republicans prefiled a bill for the 2020 legislative session to create a medical marijuana program in Wisconsin (Senate Bill 683) which he failed to co-sponsor.  Previous legislative sessions adult use and decriminalization bills have failed to advance to even a public hearing under his watch and he is poised to do the same in the 2019-2020 session for Adult Use SB 377 and Decriminalization SB 577.

Assembly Rep. Wirch (D-Keosha) has been elected since 1992.

Senate Bill 507 / Assembly Bill 570 (Medical Marijuana with home grows/smoking) and Assembly Bill 750 / Senate Bill 683 (Republican Creation of a Medical Marijuana Program) are both in his committee.

Rep. Wirch was the only Democrat to co-sponsor the Republican medical marijuana legislation.  Senator Wirch was singled out back in October 2019 as not being a co-sponsor of the bi-partisan medical marijuana effort that allowed smoking products and home grows (SB507).  

Her goal is to get a public hearing on the issue of medical marijuana for the 2021-22 session.  That is the first step in Wisconsin.  Senator Bernier has taken more than first steps supporting marijuana reform.  In 2017 when she was an Assembly Representative and one of the first Republicans in a long time to support marijuana reform by sponsoring a decriminalization bill.    In 2020, she is the lead in the Republican controlled Senate trying to navigate a bill through committee.  Early in 2021 she is the sole author on the Senate side for a decriminalization bill.

Medical Marijuana legislation with home grows and smoking products is supported and co-sponsored in the Senate by Republican Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point).

Testin is the first Republican to have signed their name to a medical marijuana bill in nearly two decades.

In 2018 the City of Superior decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and the City of Ashland approved measures about declaring a resolution to support both medical and recreational cannabis.  The Democrat Senate Minority Leader did not sponsor any legislation on marijuana reform in 2019-2020.

Dec 2019: “I am not advocating for legalizing marijuana,” Sen. Bewley said. “I would be willing to have a conversation about medical marijuana, and we know that there is bipartisan support for that” 

In 2009, her first term in the Assembly, she co-authored Assembly Bill 554/Senate Bill 368, to legalize medical marijuana. She sponsored the same bill in her second term as well. Elected to the Senate in 2020, we hope to see her as a sponsor of adult use legislation.

She says “Adults should be free to use marijuana without fear of prosecution. We need to stop using our criminal justice resources to prosecute and incarcerate people for cannabis use. We can earn revenue, increase Wisconsin’s agricultural economy, and help stop the unequal enforcement that drives racial disparities in our criminal justice system. It’s time to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, and grow Wisconsin’s economy.” – source

Long time medical marijuana legislative lead in the Democratic Senate. His stance on adult use marijuana is unknown at this point as he continues to be the lead on medical cannabis legislation.

Bradley comes out against recreational marijuana, but understands people turn to marijuana for medicinal purposes, his concern is he wants to insure it goes through the same process that any drug would before it is legalized for medicinal purposes and sent out to people. Not in favor of over regulatory situation, but before people are taking a drug prescribed to them that drug has cleared all hurdles.  – source July 30, 2020 candidate interview.

Long time Republican Senator from Marathon did not co-sponsor the Republican legislation to create a medical marijuana program SB 683.

Referendums in 2018 in his distract supported medical marijuana.

Wimberger ran in 2014 for State Assembly (lost by 18% points) and who also ran for the Wisconsin State Senate for District 30 in 2016 and only lost by 3% points will try for State Senate again in 2020 as the incumbent retires. He joined the Political Radar crew to in 2016 to discuss several key issues that are emerging in Wisconsin. They discuss the viability of marijuana legalization in Wisconsin and its challenges.  And now it is 2020 and “It is just a plant” came from Wimbergers lips.  What does that tell us.  Over the years this candidate has made several public statements about marijuana reform in interviews.

Senator Smith sponsored both Adult Use / Recreational Marijuana and the medical marijuana bill that would allow home grows and smoking products for patients in the 2019-20 session.   He did not sponsor the decriminalization measure. 

Senator Pfaff said “I believe that when it comes to medical purposes, we in Wisconsin need to move forward in terms of medical purposes. I will work with law enforcement as well as community social groups, as well as educators as far as legalizing recreational marijuana.” New 19 La Crosse WXOW Interview.

Senator Chris Kapenga (R)

Kapenga says “Legalizing the use of marijuana is not good for Wisconsin. If the use of marijuana really was
harmless, an affirming dope-using vote by the legislature wouldn’t be necessary.”  

Kapenga was elected Republican Senate President for the 2021-22 legislative session.

Feb 2021 in Response to Governor Evers Budet plan to allow marijuana sales, Kapenga issued the following press release:

Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana Would be Disastrous for Wisconsin

“The legalization of recreational marijuana is not in the best interest of Wisconsinites. There are
serious health and societal issues that need to be understood, and Governor Evers shouldn’t
sacrifice the safety of the people of Wisconsin—particularly our children—in pursuit of the mighty

“The Governor is adamant we follow science when it comes to COVID-19 but turns a blind eye when
it comes to legalizing a drug that has no FDA approval—which all other medicines are subject to.

“What happened to the honorable goal of keeping the people of Wisconsin and our kids safe?

“The National Academy of Medicine points to a significant correlation between marijuana and
psychosis, schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders, particularly in teenagers where the risk of
developing schizophrenia increases three fold.

“In addition, an investigation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
Pediatrics concludes, “Cannabis use disorder is common among adolescents and young adults with
mood disorders and is associated with an elevated risk of self-harm, overall mortality, and death by
unintentional overdose and homicide in this already vulnerable population.”

“What happened to the honorable goal of keeping our communities safe?

“In Colorado, the crime rate increased 11 times faster than the nation since the legalization of
marijuana, including a nearly 20% increase in violent crimes.

“At the same time, drugged driving went from killing roughly one person every 6.5 days to every 2.5
days, since legalization was passed. A similar increase happened in Washington state, where the
number of traffic deaths due to marijuana-impaired drivers doubled the year after recreational
marijuana was legalized. 

“The Governor is sending a dangerous message of permissive drug use when parents, teachers,
medical professionals, and law enforcement are fighting against drug use.

“Legalizing the use of marijuana is not good for Wisconsin. If the use of marijuana really was
harmless, an affirming dope-using vote by the legislature wouldn’t be necessary.”  

Senate District 33 is up for election in 2022.

Telephone: (608) 266-9174 Email: Sen.Kapenga@legis.wisconsin.gov


  • Born Zeeland, Michigan, February 19, 1972; married; 2 children.
  • Graduate Holland Christian (Holland, Michigan), 1990. B.S. in Accountancy, Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan), 1994.
  • Business owner. Certified public accountant.
  • Member: Assembly of State Legislatures (copresident); NFIB; Elmbrook Church Financial Counseling (director).
  • Former member: WSCA School Board (vice chair, treasurer, secretary); WICPA; MMAC; Institute of Management Accountants (board member).
  • Elected to Assembly 2010–12. Elected to Senate in July 2015 special election. Reelected 2018.
Wisconsin State Senate Marijuana Reform Support by Jay Selthofner