2024 Election Coverage

AD 56: David “Kratom” Murphy (R) vs Emily Tseffos (D)

What can I say about Assembly District 56 and Incumbent David Murphy (R – Greenville). The maps changed and so did the district boundaries, slightly. The district includes not only Grand Chute, but also areas around Hortonville, New London, Bear Creek, Black Creek, Mackville, Shiocton, Northport, 12 Corners and Greenville.

There are about 29 out of 99 Assembly Districts to watch in the 2024 Fall General Election. Many more if you count primary battles, but in reality, those 29 seats are labeled as competitive by some standard. There are about 11 of them to really keep a close eye on because the outcome is very uncertain for either party.

I think the Democrats are going to easily get 42 seats and take another 4 of these more competitive seats with a good chance to take a majority of the remaining. I think the Republicans are easily going to take 46 seats and have their eyes on taking another 7. Those 11 seats are really important and unfortunately this article is about Assembly District 56, which either are not one of the 29 and are not one of the eleven.

The Republican Incumbent

David Murphy (R-Greenville)

Representative David Murphy Assembly District 56 (R - Greenville)
Rep. David Murphy

Friendly Republicans named this guy as a possible supporter of medical cannabis reforms. I am starting to seriously doubt that. He was first elected in 2012 and since that time frame I really have not heard anything public come out of this guys mouth about the positive benefits of marijuana reform. He did say:

Feb 2019:  “oppose any push to legalize recreational use

Feb 2019: Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, issued a statement saying he would support regulated medical marijuana if it ensures the safety of public roadways.

October 2020: Murphy said he is against the legalization of recreational marijuana. He said he’s based his opinion on conversations with law enforcement officers, many of whom are against legalizing it.

He pointed to issues in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, such as California and Colorado. In those states, marijuana continues to be sold illegally, he said. Marijuana use can also impact worker productivity, Murphy said, which hurts the economy.  

Murphy said he would consider legalizing the drug for medical use but was absent from the Republican attempts to create some sort of medical cannabis over the past sessions. He has never co-sponsored any marijuana legislation.

Murphy was a co-sponsor of the legislation to increase penalties for cannabis concentrates that Governor Evers had to veto.

The meeting

In November 2021 I personally met with Rep. David Murphy and his main opposition or reason for not supporting adult use marijuana seemed to come from his relationships with law enforcement in the district with emphasis on their concerns with driving under the influence of cannabis.

Kratom

I met with Rep. Murphy shortly after he and his colleagues introduced a bill to legalize Kratom in Wisconsin in 2021. Murphy made main stream media news with his support and use of Kratom in Wisconsin.

The Kratom legislation, Assembly Bill 393 was introduced again in early September 2023. The bill was assigned to the same committees that are assigned the adult use cannabis / medical marijuana legislation. Yet neither committee chair has scheduled a public hearing on cannabis reform. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety chaired by Senator Van Wanggaard have not yet taken up the Kratom bill yet, but the Assembly Committee chaired by Rep Swearingen held a public hearing on Kratom legalization in mid September 2023.

You can review the Record of Committee Proceedings for Assembly Bill 393 and review hearing testimony / materials so that you better understand what goes on and is said/submitted by who during the public hearing process. It is vital to know procedure as things move slow, but happen fast when it comes to the legislation process. Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) has a few new Wisconsin featured speakers and one of them testified on this bill. CBD and Cannabis conversations did come up in the public hearing, but Chair Swearingen quickly reminded committee members that they are not allowed to discuss cannabis.

Also important to know is who is lobbying on for and against legislation. Of course, the various police organizations/associations and Wisconsin Medical Society are opposed. But I did see a familiar face in the American Kratom Association lobbyist line up. The face was non other than former Republican Majority Leader in the Assembly, Jim Steineke. He was the majority leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly from January 2015 until his resignation from the Assembly in July 2022. He had represented the Wisconsin’s 5th Assembly district since 2011.

But, back to the election coming up in the fall of 2024.

Murphy must be confident on his ability to get re-elected being the GOP Incumbent on the ticket as his official campaign facebook page has not had a post since Aug 17th of 2021.

The Democrat up for the challenge

Emily Tseffos (D-Appleton)

This candidate said more positive things about marijuana and cannabis reform in the quick chat than her challenger has said in his over a dozen years in office.

Emily Tseffos is pro legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana.

If you are in her district (see her map and request below), please look her up and say high. If you are more the online type, visit her campaign website and give her campaign a follow on her facebook page Emily Tseffos for Wisconsin.

Stay tuned and get active!

I will provide you additional 2024 Wisconsin State Election coverage throughout the campaign season. This next election is extremely important for marijuana reform and I will continue to bring you information as more candidates make their political moves.

In the event that we end up with divided government in the 2024-25 legislation session, the official formation of The Wisconsin Cannabis Caucus would be a must first step towards reform. The official establishment of this Caucus will represent the growing, bipartisan support in Wisconsin.

Although session as ended we still urge you to contact your elected officials. The top four action alerts are still functionable on The Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Action Network for you immediate use.

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