Closer Look: Racine County Medical Cannabis Advisory Referendum Outpolled WI Assembly Speaker Robin Vos 58%-42% In Nov. 2018 Election

Posted: June 12, 2019 by Gary Storck
Category: Medical

Cannabadger looked at the results of the November 6, 2018 election in Assembly District 63, home to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and crunched the numbers, comparing the number of votes for Vos vs. votes for Racine County's medical cannabis advisory referendum.

Vos' district lies entirely within Racine County, where advisory referendums on both medical and adult use cannabis appeared on all Nov. 6, 2018 county general election ballots. Both referendums were easily approved by county voters. In Vos' district, which leans conservative due to extreme Republican gerrymandering, the adult use legalization advisory referendum received about 2000 less votes than did the Speaker. But medical cannabis was a different story, with nearly 6500 more votes for the medical cannabis question, crushing Vos by a 58%-42% margin, 23,162 votes to 16,775.

Vos' Democratic opponent, Joel Jacobsen, garnered 10,705 votes, demonstrating that many voters who chose Vos also voted in favor of medical cannabis. So even while Vos chose conservative voters in gerrymandering his district, they support medical cannabis as strongly as their independent and Democratic cohorts. The most recent Marquette Law School poll confirmed this with its finding of 83% support statewide for legalizing medical cannabis.

Vos has made repeated statements claiming he supports medical cannabis, though with plenty of conditions. On February 20, 2019, speaking on the Jay Weber Show on WISN, he said, "I do not support the legalization of marijuana but I think that you could have a situation where in a very limited circumstance through a process which is not growing pot at home you would have the opportunity to have some people who have the ability to have relief from medical marijuana to utilize it."

Over two years ago, asked about it in January 2017 at the beginning of the prior legislative session, reported these comments by the Speaker regarding medical cannabis, "I'm not an expert on medical marijuana, but I certainly have no problem saying, if you have a sincere medical need and your doctor prescribes it, and it's done under the normal process of any other opiate, I would be open to that."

But speaking of sincere, is Vos himself sincere in his oft-repeated willingness to possibly support it, or is this just a way to keep running out the clock session after session while repeatedly professing he is open to it?

On November 16, 2018, in an article from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, Kit Beyer, Vos' communications director, is quoted as saying Vos supports "a system where patients can get a prescription for marijuana from their doctor filled at a pharmacy."

But, the article reports Beyer also noted the Speaker believes medical cannabis first needs to happen at the federal level.

Sounds like another way for Vos to kick the can further down the road.