Evers Proposes Medical Marijuana
And would loosen other restrictions. Vos opposes plan.
Gov. Tony Evers will propose legalizing medical marijuana in his state budget address later this month, the governor announced Monday.
The push for medical legalization will be accompanied by several other marijuana-related proposals, including legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, establishing expungement procedures for people with marijuana possession on their criminal records and bringing state laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, in line with federal standards.
“I believe and I know the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly believe that people shouldn’t be treated like criminals for accessing medicine that can change or maybe even save their lives,” the governor said at a Capitol press event Monday morning.
Under the governor’s proposal, individuals would be able to use marijuana to treat medical conditions, as long as they have authorization from a physician. Marijuana has been used to treat conditions and side effects to conditions including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and seizures.
Acheson is an Iraq War veteran who has used marijuana to treat pain related to a spinal injury and PTSD. He said using the drug allowed him to stop taking a cocktail of prescription medications.
“Really, the only option that was provided to me was pills,” Acheson said of his previous treatment. “I was on seven or eight different pills every day, from opiates to muscle relaxers.”
He said they left him feeling like “a zombie.”
He and others argued Monday that increasing access to medical marijuana would reduce the need for opiate prescriptions, thereby combating the state’s opiate epidemic for military veterans and civilians.
Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, also argued Evers’ proposals would help address racial inequities in incarceration in Wisconsin.
“There is clear evidence that harsh drug laws do not deter marijuana use — all they succeed in doing is disproportionately locking up Wisconsinites of color,” Crowley said.
A number of reports from nonprofit organizations and the federal government in recent years have outlined Wisconsin’s disproportionately high incarceration rate of African-Americans and other individuals from communities of color.
A 2013 study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found Wisconsin had the highest incarceration rate in the United States for black men.
Under the governor’s proposal, people could not be arrested for possessing less than 25 grams of marijuana for personal use. It would also put in place an expungement procedure for individuals convicted of possessing, manufacturing or distributing less than that amount of the drug. Individuals would need to have completed their sentence or probation in order to be eligible for expungement.
The plan would also change state law related to CBD oil. Current law requires individuals to get a yearly prescription from their doctor for CBD oil. The governor’s proposal would lift that restriction, allowing people to buy and use the oil without a doctor’s orders.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, issued a statement Monday afternoon pushing back on Evers’ proposal. Vos said it “appears to go too far.”
“It makes it easier to get recreational marijuana and provides a pathway to full legalization, which I do not support,” Vos said. “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.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has said he is opposed to medical marijuana in the past. His office offered no further comment Monday.
Meanwhile, one of the state’s most powerful business organizations, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, also came out against the plan, saying it would make workplaces less safe.
“There is not enough research on this issue to determine if marijuana can be used safely, and there is plenty of research that shows it impairs an individual’s ability to operate equipment safely,” said Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of the organization, in a prepared statement.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Gov. Tony Evers Proposes Medical Marijuana Legalization was originally published by Wisconsin Pubilc Radio.
More about the Legalizing of Marijuana
- State Residents Cross Border for Legal Pot - Corri Hess - Jan 3rd, 2020
- GOP Bill Legalizes Medical Marijuana - Shawn Johnson - Dec 11th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: More People Using Pot as Medicine - Shayli Kipnis - Nov 9th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Bill Eases Burdens On Pot Offenders - Natalie Yahr - Nov 6th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Pot Possession Charges Cause Big Problems - Natalie Yahr - Nov 2nd, 2019
- Bill Would Decriminalize Pot Possession - Laurel White - Oct 30th, 2019
- Senator Larson Continues to Support Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana - State Sen. Chris Larson - Oct 30th, 2019
- Rep. Stubbs, Lt. Gov. Barnes Announce Legislation Decriminalizing Marijuana - State Rep. Shelia Stubbs - Oct 30th, 2019
- Risser Calls for Decriminalizing Marijuana - State Sen. Fred Risser - Oct 30th, 2019
- Democrats Push Medical Marijuana, Red Flag Law - Laurel White - Oct 7th, 2019
- Bipartisan Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana - Isiah Holmes - Oct 3rd, 2019
- Pot Tourism in Illinois? - Melanie Conklin - Sep 30th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Could Legal Marijuana Revitalize Communities? - Parker Schorr - Sep 24th, 2019
- Shilling Backs Medical Cannabis Efforts - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Sep 20th, 2019
- Rep. Shankland Coauthors Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis in Wisconsin for Fourth Consecutive Session - State Rep. Katrina Shankland - Sep 20th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Marijuana Can Lead to Deportation for Immigrants - Ting-Chia Kan - Aug 6th, 2019
- The Cannabis Question: Pot Arrests 4 Times Higher for Blacks - Izabela Zaluska - Jul 15th, 2019
- Independent Business Association of Wisconsin (IBAW) presents Marijuana, Changing Laws, and Its Effect on the Workplace - Independent Business Association of Wisconsin - Jul 4th, 2019
- Back in the News: Vos Wants Medical Marijuana Bill - Bruce Murphy - Jul 1st, 2019
- Who Uses Cannabis in Wisconsin? - Olivia Herken - Jun 24th, 2019
- Pot Policies All Over the Map - Carter Thomson - Jun 23rd, 2019
- Michigan Struggles With Legal Pot - Rachelle Wilson - Jun 21st, 2019
- Rep. Sargent’s Lonely Pro-Pot Campaign - Hibah Ansari - May 27th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: Republican Pushes for Medical Marijuana - Bruce Murphy - May 14th, 2019
- State Behind The Times on Pot Laws? - Analise Pruni - Apr 30th, 2019
- GOP Legislators Kill Medical Pot Proposal - Laurel White - Apr 26th, 2019
- Medical Marijuana Would Provide an Economic Boost to Wisconsin - State Rep. David Bowen - Apr 23rd, 2019
- Sargent Pushes Legal Pot Bill. Again - Laurel White - Apr 19th, 2019
- The Most Dangerous Thing about Marijuana in Wisconsin is that it is Illegal - State Rep. Melissa Sargent - Apr 18th, 2019
- Op Ed: Yes and No on Marijuana - Bill Kaplan - Apr 15th, 2019
- Advocates of Legal Pot Still Face Hurdles - Suzie Kazar - Apr 7th, 2019
- Legislature Urged to Clarify Pot Laws - John Davis - Mar 27th, 2019
- Op Ed: State Is Ready for Medical Marijuana - State Sen. Jon Erpenbach - Feb 23rd, 2019
- The Contrarian: Evers Dead Wrong On Pot Convictions - George Mitchell - Feb 20th, 2019
- Evers Proposes Medical Marijuana - Laurel White - Feb 19th, 2019
- Rep. Zamarripa Statement on Gov. Evers Plan to Legalize Medical Marijuana - State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa - Feb 18th, 2019
- Shilling Backs Gov. Evers’ Medical Marijuana Push - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 18th, 2019
- Bowen Applauds Governor Evers’ Marijuana Proposals - State Rep. David Bowen - Feb 18th, 2019
- Sen. Erpenbach Applauds Gov. Evers’ Medical Marijuana Proposal - State Sen. Jon Erpenbach - Feb 18th, 2019
- Gov. Evers Announces Proposal to Reform Wisconsin’s Marijuana Laws - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 18th, 2019
- WJI supports Gov. Evers’ cannabis initiative - Wisconsin Justice Initiative - Feb 18th, 2019
- The State of Politics: Republicans May Oppose Medical Marijuana - Steven Walters - Jan 28th, 2019
- Court Watch: Chisholm Supports Fully Legal Pot - Gretchen Schuldt - Jan 2nd, 2019
- Everyone Wants Legal Pot! - Gretchen Schuldt - Dec 31st, 2018
- Will Referendums Lead to Legal Pot? - Edgar Mendez - Nov 16th, 2018
- A Sweep for Marijuana Referendums! - Gretchen Schuldt - Nov 7th, 2018
- 52 Legislative Candidates Support Legal Pot - Isiah Holmes - Oct 11th, 2018
- Election Asks Voters About Legal Pot - John Davis - Sep 29th, 2018
- Pot Referendums on November Ballot - Gretchen Schuldt - Aug 30th, 2018
- Roys Releases Video Outlining Benefits to Legalizing Cannabis in Wisconsin - Kelda Roys - Jul 26th, 2018
- County Board Okays Pot Referendum - Gretchen Schuldt - May 25th, 2018
- County Board Overwhelmingly Approves Marijuana Referendum for November 6 Ballot - Sup. John F. Weishan, Jr. - May 24th, 2018
- Court Watch: Just 13% of City’s Pot Cases Involve Whites - Gretchen Schuldt - May 15th, 2018
- MKE County: Committee Okays Referendum on Legalizing Pot - Graham Kilmer - May 10th, 2018
- Public Hearing on Proposed Marijuana Referendum Set for Thursday - Sup. John F. Weishan, Jr. - May 9th, 2018
- Photo Gallery: Cannabis Marchers Demand Legalization - Jack Fennimore - May 7th, 2018
- Supervisor Weishan Proposing Marijuana Referendum for November Ballot - Sup. John F. Weishan, Jr. - May 3rd, 2018
- March for Cannabis – 8th Annual March to Legalize Cannabis in Wisconsin - Southeastern WI NORML - Apr 27th, 2018
- Op Ed: Public Opposes Trump Crackdown on Pot - Casey Hoff - Jan 6th, 2018
- Op Ed: Anti-Marijuana Campaign Is Misguided - Isiah Holmes - Dec 8th, 2017
- Op Ed: Don’t Legalize Marijuana - Bob Dohnal - Dec 6th, 2017
- Matt Flynn Comes Out in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana - Matt Flynn - Nov 14th, 2017
- Dem Lawmakers Push To Legalize Medical Marijuana - Dave Fidlin - Nov 2nd, 2017
- Legalizing Pot Could Be Windfall For Wisconsin - Gretchen Schuldt - Sep 29th, 2017
- Op Ed: Reduce Penalties for Pot Possession - Gretchen Schuldt - Aug 7th, 2017
- Op Ed: We Must Legalize Marijuana - State Rep. David Crowley - Jul 21st, 2017
- Gov. Scott Walker Defense of Taking Donation From Marijuana Industry Advocates While Calling For More Drug Testing: $25,000 Check Too Small to Influence Him - One Wisconsin Now - Jul 21st, 2017