In Madison, Wisconsin on Monday, Governor Tony Evers made an announcement that his budget is going to include proposals for decriminalizing marijuana possession for personal use of small amounts. The proposals also include legalizing medical marijuana.
The newly elected governor says it is time for Wisconsin to go along with over 30 other states along with the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana for medical use. Previously the governor advocated to decriminalize marijuana. He made note that Wisconsin citizens in 16 counties and a couple cities cast their vote with a significant margin for non-binding referendums in 2018 to approve medical marijuana in the state.
“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge. People shouldn’t be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately needed medication that can alleviate their suffering,” said the governor in a statement.
With this proposal, a practitioner or physician who is directed by a physician would be able to recommend medical marijuana use for alleviating symptoms of related medical conditions which include glaucoma, cancer, chronic pain, seizures, severe nausea, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This proposal also decriminalizes the possession, distribution or manufacturing of marijuana in small amounts of 25 grams or less. The proposal also establishes convicted individuals charges being expunged for the possession, distribution or manufacture of under 25 grams of marijuana and who have finished their probation or sentence.
“It’s not just about access to health care, it’s about connecting the dots between racial disparities and economic inequity,” Governor Evers stated. “Too many people, often persons of color, spend time in our criminal justice system just for possessing small amounts of marijuana. That doesn’t make our communities stronger or safer.”
Governor Tony Evers also seeks to end the annual physician’s certification required for using cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD oil, which is an approved treatment for seizures.
However, it is unlikely that his proposal will be approved by the Legislature which is controlled by Republicans.
“Without having specific details, his proposal appears to go too far,” Robin Vos said, who is the Republican Assembly Speaker. “It makes it easier to get recreational marijuana and provides a pathway to full legalization, which I do not support. I’m open to medical marijuana when it’s prescribed by a doctor but it has to be done in a targeted way without allowing recreational use.”
Scott Fitzgerald, a Juneau Republican and Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader, has made it clear that he is opposed to medical marijuana and is not certain a law such as this would pass the chamber.
Josh Kaul, the Democratic Attorney General has stated he supports legalizing medical marijuana for helping people deal with their pain and to provide Wisconsin with additional tax revenue.
Featured Image Credit: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (AP / Scott Bauer, File)
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.