Vos Wants Medical Marijuana Bill
Assembly Speaker wants to push this bill in fall. Will Senate oppose it?
Vos was highly critical of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers‘ state budget proposal, which would have legalized medical pot and decriminalized its recreational use. Vos called Evers’ medical marijuana plan “half-handed”, though he seemed to be suggesting the opposite, that the legislation was far too sweeping. Republicans stripped those provisions — and many others — from the budget they approved and sent to the governor.
Vos said he wants to discuss a bill to legalize medical marijuana with his caucus this fall, presumably after the state budget is finalized. Vos told the media he has been open to legalizing medical marijuana for several years.
Evers would undoubtedly sign such a bill. But Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has steadfastly opposed medical marijuana. “A proposal like what the governor put forward in his budget would have a difficult time getting Republican support in the Senate,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.
While Fitzgerald and Vos often disagreed when the governor was Republican Scott Walker, they have been more united since a Democrat took over the governor’s office. Vos would be likely to consult with Fitzgerald before the Assembly passed any medical pot bill. But Vos conceded it won’t be easy to get a bill through the Senate.
“The debate on this has changed dramatically in the last 10 years,” as State Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point), told Urban Milwaukee. “Given the fact that 33 other states have adopted medical marijuana, I think there’s an appetite for this among the public in Wisconsin.”
Testin has been working with a bipartisan group of legislators, including state Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), a cancer survivor, Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison), on creating a medical marijuana bill.
Most Republicans in the Senate hold safely gerrymandered seats and are dominated by an ultra-conservative group of GOP senators, a “Murderer’s Row for liberal and moderate ideas,” as Urban Milwaukee columnist Steve Walters once described them.
The Republicans hold an 19-14 majority in the Senate, so even if Testin and every Democrat votes for medical marijuana, they would need to convince two more Republicans to vote yes. “We still face a hard road in the Senate,” Testin noted.
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- A Day to Consider Legalizing Pot - Isiah Holmes - Apr 20th, 2020
- New ACLU Report: Black People Four Times More Likely to Get Arrested for Marijuana Possession in Wisconsin - American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin - Apr 20th, 2020
- ‘When, Not If’ Medical Marijuana Is Legalized - Corri Hess - Feb 4th, 2020
- 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
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