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Wisconsin Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Wisconsin Sens. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) and Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) introduced bipartisan legislation Sept. 20 to legalize medical cannabis in the state.

Under the bill, patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, including cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe pain and chronic disease, could register with the state to use cannabis, according to an Associated Press report. A licensing system would be created for growers through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer protection, the news outlet reported.

This renewed push for cannabis policy reform in the state comes after Gov. Tony Evers announced plans in February to include decriminalization and medical marijuana legalization plans in his state budget proposal. Republicans stripped those provisions from the spending plan, however, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced earlier this summer his plans to launch medical cannabis legalization efforts again this fall.

Democrats have tried to pass cannabis policy reform legislation in every legislative session for the past decade, the Associated Press reported, and this year’s attempt came from Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), who introduced legislation in April that would have legalized cannabis for both medical and adult use.

Any form of legalization faces obstacles in Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature, according to the Associated Press, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he does not support the issue.

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