La Crosse cannabis grower says Wisconsin is behind the times

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Marijuana first became illegal in 1937.

Since then, many states have reversed course, legalizing it for medical or recreational purposes.

Wisconsin is behind the times, says Logan Eldred, a cannabis grower at Tree Huggers Co-op, a La Crosse business that specializes in growing and selling CBD.

The cannabis plant Eldred uses for CBD is the same plant that produces THC, which is illegal because it gets you high.

“Really it’s just a matter of switching seeds and being able to produce high THC cannabis vs High CBD Cannabis like we currently do now,” Eldred said.

Many people buy CBD for medical purposes, and more people would be able to use it in a beneficial way if marijuana were fully legalized, he said.

“Take the stigma away from cannabis use, which will allow more people to use it in a more positive way,” said Eldred.

Wisconsin State Sen. Mellisa Agard, D-Madison, one of the authors of a bill to legalize marijuana, believes legalization would address racial inequities in the justice system, create a safe market for users and provide economic opportunity for the state.

“We are very quickly becoming an island of prohibition not only in the Midwest but in the entire United States of America,” Agard said.

Wisconsin Republicans have rejected multiple bills to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.

We reached out to leaders in the Assembly and Senate, but neither responded to our requests for comments.

Agard believes her new bill will be a little different.

“Many states that have legalized are red states, this isn’t an issue that in my opinion should follow party lines,” said Agard.

18 other states have already legalized recreational marijuana, Eldred says it’s time for Wisconsin to joins its neighbors.

“It seems like the further we got was kind of like snowballing now to the point where there’s no turning back, and it’s not a matter of if things are going to be legal, it’s only a matter of when,” said Eldred.

Wisconsin Republicans cut Gov. Tony Evers’s plans to legalize marijuana out of his 2021/2023 Biennial Budget.

At that time, many local lawmakers said they would adapt to new regulations if the drug was legalized.