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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Wisconsin Gov. Toney Evers (D) unveiled an expansive plan last week to overhaul the Badger State’s marijuana laws. His proposal would make the drug legal for medicinal use, decriminalize cannabis possession and align the state’s CBD oil laws with federal statutes.
The proposal would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to treat ailments like cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, severe nausea, and seizures. Medical weed patients would be allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis, or up to 12 plants. It would also align the state’s laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, with federal standards. Current Badger State law requires a doctor to give a yearly certification for families to get access to CBD oil.
“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge,” the governor said at a press conference last week. “People shouldn’t be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering.”
He also made clear he sees cannabis law reform as a social justice issue, noting the inequities in how minorities are arrested and convicted for marijuana-related offenses. In addition to the medical allowance, his proposal would decriminalize possession, production or distribution of marijuana in amounts of 25 grams or less and expunge the records of those previously convicted for violations under that amount who have served their sentences or probations.
“Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rate in the country for black men, and drug-related crimes account for as many as 75-85 percent of all inmates in our prisons,” he said via a press release.
The plan was met with a mixed response. In a statement, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said in a statement he felt Evers’ proposal was too much too fast.
“It makes it easier to get recreational marijuana and provides a pathway to full legalization, which I do not support,” he said.
It also drew a negative response from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a business lobbying group, which came out against the plan, saying, “business leaders are concerned about the impacts marijuana decriminalization will have on workplace safety.”
The measure drew broader support from Democrats and groups like Wisconsin Veterans for Compassionate Care, which advocates for legalizing medical marijuana.
Evers is expected to make his official proposal to lawmakers as part of his budget address on Feb. 28. (STATE JOURNAL [MADISON], NBC NEWS, MARIJUANA MOMENT)