Andy Gronik

Candidate Name

Andy Gronik

Which office are you seeking?

Governor

Campaign website and/or social media links

www.andygronik.com

1. Do you support a legal, regulated, and taxed market for recreational cannabis, allowing Wisconsin residents over the age of 21 to purchase and possess up to two ounces (or more) of cannabis from regulated dispensaries, as proposed by State Rep. Melissa Sargent’s (D-Madison) AB482?

I do support a legal, regulated, and taxed market for recreational cannabis, allowing Wisconsin residents over the age of 21 to purchase and possess cannabis purchased from regulated dispensaries but do so without taking any position on the specifics of State Rep. Melissa Sargent’s proposal AB482. I would put the question of legalizing marijuana on the ballet to be decided by the residents of Wisconsin.

2. Do you support allowing any Wisconsin resident over the age of 21 to grow up to 6 (or more) cannabis plants at home without a license, as proposed by AB482?

I do not support allowing Wisconsin residents to grow cannabis plants at home.

3. Do you support allowing patients suffering from various ailments to purchase and use cannabis as treatment for their ailments if they have a doctor’s recommendation?

Yes, I do you support allowing patients suffering from various ailments to purchase and use cannabis as treatment for their ailments when they have a doctor’s prescription.

4. Do you agree with the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis outlined in Section 42 of AB482 (listed below)?
(2) “Debilitating medical condition or treatment" means any of the following:
(a) Cancer; glaucoma; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; a positive test for the presence of HIV, antigen or nonantigenic products of HIV, or an antibody to HIV; Crohn's disease; a hepatitis C virus infection; Alzheimer's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; nail patella syndrome; Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; post-traumatic stress disorder; or the treatment of these conditions.
(b) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of such a disease or condition that causes cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
(c) Any other medical condition or any other treatment for a medical condition designated as a debilitating medical condition or treatment in rules promulgated by the department of health services under s. 50.81 (2).

I would rely upon doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients as needed and take no position on the details outlined in Section 42 or AB482.

5. Answer this question only if you support both recreational and medicinal uses of cannabis. Do you support allowing medical cannabis patients to possess more cannabis than recreational users and to be exempt from the taxes that are imposed on recreational users?

I would rely upon doctors to determine the quantity of medical cannabis appropriate in the treatment of their patients and would expect dosing guidelines consistent with treatment best practices as set forth by valid research published in recognized medical journals.  I would tax both medical and recreational marijuana the same. Medical marijuana would qualify for tax deductions just like other eligible medical expenses.

6. Do you support a permitting system that would enable publicly-accessible establishments to allow legal possessors of cannabis to smoke it in outdoor areas at their establishments? This would address an issue present in other states’ implementations, where many people are legally allowed to purchase and possess cannabis, but have no place to legally consume it.

I would seek guidance on this question from the states that have legalized marijuana to determine the best practices to be implemented by Wisconsin.  Since cannabis can be legally purchased in these states but not consumed, I would advocate for testing a variety of solutions on a limited basis to determine what works best for the people of Wisconsin.

7. Do you support conviction expungement or pardons for anyone convicted of possession, growing, and/or selling cannabis in Wisconsin?

No, I do not support conviction expungement or pardons for anyone convicted of possession, growing, and/or selling cannabis in Wisconsin and feel that painting this issue with one brush is dangerous and irresponsible.  That said, many people (and disproportionately people of color) have been convicted and incarcerated for non-violent crimes around marijuana possession. These cases need to be reviewed both as it relates to the circumstances surrounding the original and/or repeated convictions and subsequent incarceration but also as it relates to crimes committed while incarcerated.

8. Do you support or would you consider any other cannabis regulatory or legalization scheme for Wisconsin

I would expect to learn from evolving legislation in states where marijuana has been legalized and closely study all aspects of any tangible impacts legalization has had on consumers of marijuana in these states and on the residents who live there.  The purpose of this study would be to adopt and innovate best practices that work for the residents of Wisconsin.

9. Do you believe that possession of limited amounts of cannabis by a person in his or her own home or in another’s home with the owner’s permission should be legal in the State of Wisconsin?

Yes, subject to legalization and regulation and not before.

10. What level of taxes do you think should be imposed on recreational cannabis?

I am not prepared to answer this question without more in-depth study.

11. How do you think that tax revenue should be used?

I’d use the tax revenue to inform Wisconsin residents about the responsible use of marijuana; to fund drug treatment and rehabilitation programs and to battle the opioid crisis; to fund mental health services; to fund law enforcement efforts combating illegal drugs; to upgrade and integrate law enforcement systems and databases to combat crime and identify best practices that reduce recidivism; and to help fund public education and jobs training.

12. Why is cannabis law reform an important issue to you?
      1. There is ample scientific evidence proving that cannabis used for medicinal purposes is very effective at treating patients suffering from a wide variety of illnesses and terminal diseases.
      2. An argument can also be made that cannabis is safer to use than alcohol and has fewer long-term side effects.
      3. There remains a debate as to whether cannabis is a gateway drug, but Colorado has offered compelling evidence that following legalization, opioid addiction dropped in their state.
      4. I want to stop levying fines, establishing needless criminal records and locking people up for non-violent drug possession crimes.
      5. I want to end the devastation of lives and families destroyed by incarcerating individuals (disproportionately of color) who found themselves in a downward spiral initiated by needless convictions and sentencing for the non-violent crime of possession.
      6. I believe the legalization of cannabis is an eventuality and I want to establish an industry that will be very good for Wisconsin’s economy, that honors our strong agricultural tradition and that generates substantial tax revenue to be used for the public good.
      7. On a personal note, my life’s journey has introduced me to countless individuals suffering from chronic pain and cannabis whose lives have been vastly improved as a result of having access to medical marijuana.
      8. I have never used cannabis, but I’ve witnessed its effects on the people who do.  While my observations are in no way intended to be a clinical, I’ve seen cannabis have a mellowing effect on its consumers, often promoting hunger and sleep.  In contrast, I’ve seen some consumers of alcohol (and I am a beer drinker), become uninhibited, angry and aggressive. Both cannabis and alcohol are drugs that modify behavior.  It’s possible to tax, regulate and inform consumers about the risks of both as well as provide the education needed to inform consumers about how to responsibly use both.
Additional Comments
    1. I would like to encourage you to review my position on the legalization of cannabis on my website at https://andygronik.com/issues/legalizing-marijuana/
    2. I’d also like to direct you to my issues page describing how I’ll take on the opioid crisis in Wisconsin and hold drug companies accountable for this addiction crisis.  https://andygronik.com/issues/opioid-crisis-and-drug-addiction/
    3. For me, this election is about restoring the voice of people in their government and making life in our state better for everyone.  I’m not simply offering platitudes. Check out my entire website to see how we’re going to make life in Wisconsin better for everyone with real plans that build on our strengths and create family-sustaining jobs, public school education that’s the best choice for our kids and access to quality healthcare for everyone.  www.andygronik.com