Marijuana on the Midterms: Where Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Stands on Cannabis Legalization

As the United States midterm elections draw near, you may be wondering where Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) stands on cannabis legalization. Though she is often considered one of the most liberal members of Congress, Baldwin only openly supports medicinal marijuana, a stance that sits well with state constituents who have voted to keep the herb highly regulated to a strict set of medical conditions. However, she doesn't dismiss the economic benefits that allowing recreational cannabis affords other states, and she is sure to highlight her efforts to protect current cannabis legislation in all states where marijuana is legal in some form as she seeks re-election to a second term this fall.

Baldwin rose through Wisconsin's political ranks to represent Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998-2013, and in 2012, she became the first openly gay woman to be elected to Congress with her winning of a seat in the U.S. Senate.

When it comes to cannabis legislation, Baldwin has been a staunch protector of the progress made in the United States by marijuana advocates: she co-sponsored the 2001 States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act (which prohibits the federal government from impeding a state's regulation and distribution of cannabis as allowed by that state's laws) and has written a slew of letters pushing for safeguards for existing cannabis legislation. Among those letters are:

In April of this year, the junior Senator from the Badger State reiterated her position in a statement to VICE:

"I support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. I also believe the federal government should not interfere with states' decisions regarding the treatment of marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes.”

Our Grade: B+

We appreciate Sen. Baldwin's record of protecting patient's rights to medical cannabis, and we understand that there isn't a real push for her to embrace recreational marijuana from her Wisconsin constituents, so her defense of states rights in that area as well is a welcome bonus.


President Trump's 2020 budget request includes a loophole that would let Washington, DC finally open up dispensaries for recreational cannabis. Although DC voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis back in 2014, Congress has used its power over the nation's capital to prevent it from selling cannabis for recreational use. Right now, local dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana to registered patients thanks to Congress, which controls spending in the District of Columbia.

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