Congress: Three Democrats race to face Fitzgerald

The 5th Congressional District is covering most of Milwaukee’s northern and western suburbs. It presently covers all of Washington and Jefferson counties, most of Waukesha County, and portions of Dodge, Milwaukee and Walworth counties.

Three Democrats will work hard to get on the ballot for a primary election in Congressional District 5 held by prohibitionist Scott Fitzgerald (R – Clyman). Fitzgerald long opposed and led the hate in the Republican party towards anything cannabis. Some of his reign of terror on this plant is still holding on at the state legislation level even though Fitzgerald has left the state and is now in Washington D.C.

Wisconsin Republicans Endorse Marijuana Black Market
Fitzgerald Cannabis Policy

Fitzgerald was a NO to anything marijuana and even opposed allowing public hearings on his watch as a Wisconsin State Senator. He was labeled as an obstacle to decriminalization from even conservative measures by fellow Republicans going back to 2017 and to this date Republicans have never held a public hearing even simple decriminalization.

His lack of compassion was just as evident as his lack of education on the issue of medical cannabis. The sick, dying and disabled of Wisconsin suffered under his control and patients within his district ending up dying while being insulted by this prohibitionist.

Will money change Fitzgerald and his stance on cannabis? His first vote on the issue concerned money/banking and he voted yes to the 2021 Safe Banking Act …. maybe it was by mistake….

Although I am happy to see Democrats trying to taking out Fitzgerald I think we would have all been just as happy to see a Republican challenge Fitz in a congressional GOP primary. I know for a fact there are many Republicans in this district that support legalization. I know there elected officials in the R category in this district that want to see an end to prohibition of cannabis. As recent as 2019 fellow Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislator called out Fitzgerald for being a piece of shit on the medical cannabis issue.

Fitzgerald is still hating on the plant in his federal role. In 2022 Fitzgerald and non departed Congressman Gallagher were some of the very few to vote NO to even a federal marijuana research act.

Fitzgerald must be so confident in his re-election that his campaign facebook page has not posted since February 19th.

It is important to also to not let this Republican off the hook so easily as current federal legislation in congress is threatening the hemp industry right as we speak. The federal “Farm Bill” has made recent news as the Committee on Agriculture passed an amendment that triggered multiple action alerts to remove the amendment. Call Fitzgerald at (202) 225-5101 and use the action alert on the Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Network entitled The Farm Bill should protect, not hurt farmers as your language guide.

Enough about the Republican pony in the race, let’s take a look at the Democrats.

The Democrats

Ben Steinhoff (D – Pewaukee)

Not often do we see a federal congressional candidate with a platform plank issue of cannabis legalization, but with Ben Steinhoff we get that and more. His campaign website has cannabis legalization as one of his top four tier issues to confront it elected. What does Steinhoff say about cannabis?

“Fiscal Conservatives” that have long run the state of Wisconsin have run on the idea that Wisconsin needs to have a well-balanced budget.  However, what we’ve seen is large amounts of our tax dollars go to corporations and tax cuts. 

All of this while lowering the amount of tax dollars seen to help improve our own communities and help establish a solid base for those of us not receiving tax breaks.  Last year alone the state of Illinois brought in $445 million in taxes from marijuana alone, millions of that coming from the pockets of hard-working Wisconsinites.  If these “fiscal conservatives” really wanted to balance the budget and improve funding for their constituents then they’ll need some progressive policies to help them do that. 

Economic benefits:

Legalizing marijuana can create new sources of revenue for the government through taxation, licensing, and sales. According to a report by New Frontier Data, legalizing marijuana on a national level in the U.S. could generate $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue and create 1.1 million new jobs by 2029. Legalizing marijuana would also help reduce the number of non-violent drug offenders in prison.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, marijuana arrests account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Legalizing marijuana would reduce the number of people incarcerated for low-level drug crimes, freeing up resources to target more serious offenses.

Legalizing marijuana would allow for more research into its medicinal properties.

Currently, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is considered to have no medicinal value. This classification makes it difficult for researchers to study the plant and its potential benefits.

Legalizing marijuana would allow for improved research and understanding of its full range of medical applications.

In conclusion, legalizing marijuana would have numerous benefits for both individuals and society as a whole.

It would reduce crime rates, generate tax revenue, create jobs, decrease overcrowding in prisons, and allow for improved research into its medicinal properties. With legalization becoming more and more common throughout the United States, it is time for our government to recognize the potential benefits and take steps towards national legalization.

Please give his campaign facebook page Ben Steinhoff for Congress and like and follow him as his campaign continues to grow.

Andrew Beck (D – West Bend)

Beck had this to say about his stance on cannabis reform: “I think the ball is rolling on this topic with Biden rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. I will support legislation to make marijuana legal for recreational use at the federal level.

Occupation: Radiologic Tech Campaign Facebook Beck for Congress and Campaign Website Link

Christopher Leon (D)

UPDATE 6/5/2024 Christopher Leon was not listed as a candidate by the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

Christopher Leon, a Wisconsin resident of 11 years, former U.S. Marine and self-described “progressive Democrat,” announced his candidacy for the seat, pledging to increase abortion access, enact gun control measures and implement congressional term limits. Ballotpedia Page

How do we make change in 2024?
How do we make change in 2024?

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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