MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican-authored invoice to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin shall be getting its first public listening to subsequent week, achieving one goal of backers and the newest signal of progress for many who wish to loosen the state’s legal guidelines.
The invoice will not turn out to be regulation this yr as a result of Legislature has adjourned and will not be again till 2023. However the April 20 Senate committee listening to on the medical marijuana invoice will give supporters their highest profile likelihood to make the case for loosening Wisconsin’s marijuana legal guidelines.
Thirty-seven states have legalized medical marijuana and 18 have absolutely legalized it, together with Illinois and Michigan. Wisconsin’s different two neighbors, Iowa and Minnesota, permit medical marijuana.
“I wish to encourage each Wisconsinite who has an curiosity on this to return interact within the course of, share your perspective, and study in regards to the invoice,” stated the measure’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mary Felzkowski, of Tomahawk, in an announcement Monday asserting the listening to.
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“Whether or not you assume the invoice goes too far, or not far sufficient, what’s necessary is that all of us come collectively to have an open, trustworthy and respectful dialogue about transferring this concept ahead,” she stated.
Felzkowski additionally chairs the Senate committee on insurance coverage, licensing and forestry that shall be holding the listening to. The Legislature’s largest listening to room was reserved for the listening to.
Democratic Sen. Melissa Agard, the chief proponent for full legalization, stated holding a listening to on the invoice after the Legislature had adjourned was “a cynical political ploy that provides individuals false hope in regards to the prospects of this laws.”
Agard stated she was inspired that individuals may have an opportunity to testify, however she was dissatisfied it did not occur whereas the Legislature was in session.
“Sadly, Republicans are all discuss and no motion in the case of legalization efforts in Wisconsin,” she stated.
This session in Wisconsin there have been payments from Democrats and Republicans that may legalize medical marijuana, from Democrats that may additionally legalize it for leisure use, and a bipartisan measure that may decriminalize the possession of marijuana.
All of these measures died when the Republican-controlled Legislature adjourned its session in February.
However the listening to subsequent week will convey new consideration to the difficulty and maybe present momentum for subsequent session. Meeting Speaker Robin Vos has voiced assist for medical marijuana, whereas Senate Majority Chief Devin LeMahieu has stated legalization is a federal concern.
Felzkowski launched the identical medical marijuana invoice final session however it died with out a listening to.
She has stated the proposal was written in a restricted method — it doesn’t permit for smoking medical marijuana, for instance — to be able to acquire assist from Republican lawmakers. The Democratic medical marijuana invoice would have allowed for smoking it.
“Medication isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it’s time for Wisconsin to have the dialog on including this extra possibility which can assist sufferers discover the aid they want,” Felzkowski stated.
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