Last Update: September 23, 2014
Wisconsin lawmakers pass, governor signs, limited medical marijuana bill
The Wisconsin legislative session has adjourned, and a very limited medical cannabis bill was passed and signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The new law, A.B. 726, exempts a very limited class of individuals from criminal penalties for the use and possession of cannabidiol “in a form without a psychoactive effect.” While this is an improvement to current law, it leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients without legal protections for using and possessing the medicine their doctor thinks is best for them. If you live in Wisconsin, please email your lawmakers today. Thank them for taking this small first step and encourage them to support a more comprehensive medical marijuana bill next year.
The law allows individuals with seizure disorders to possess non-psychoactive cannabidiol if they have their physician’s written approval. However, it doesn’t give patients a realistic way to obtain their medicine in Wisconsin. With all these limitations, this law may be unworkable even for the limited population it’s meant to help. For more information, please see our summary of the law.
Unfortunately, adjournment meant the death of A.B. 810, a bill that would have ended Wisconsin’s marijuana prohibition and replaced it with a system that legalizes adults’ marijuana use and possession and taxes its sales, similar to how the state regulates alcohol. Please email your state lawmakers in support of this sensible approach.
If you are a patient with a serious medical condition who could benefit from medical cannabis, the loved one of a patient, or a supportive medical professional, please email [email protected] to get involved. Please include your address or nine-digit zip code, so we can determine who your legislators are. Finally, if you have been arrested for marijuana possession, been denied a job or housing because of marijuana use, or have otherwise been a victim of the current marijuana laws and you would like to help reform them, please let us know.
The legal status of marijuana in Wisconsin
An individual in Wisconsin convicted of mere possession of less than an ounce of marijuana faces a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000! Ask your legislators to support legislation that replaces the threat of jail time and the disastrous criminal record that accompanies a criminal conviction for marijuana possession with a simple civil fine. This simple policy change would allow law enforcement to focus on violent crimes. It would also help reduce the consequences of alarming racial disparities in marijuana enforcement. According to the ACLU, African Americans in Wisconsin are almost six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as their white neighbors are.
You can also ask your elected officials to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and to regulate it like alcohol.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. If you have any questions concerning the status of marijuana policy reform in Wisconsin, you can contact MPP at [email protected]. Also, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service today if you haven't done so already.