"We're not criminals. We no longer want to live in the shadows of society."
Those are the words of a Gulf War veteran who recently spoke at a Capitol news conference in Madison. He was referring to his use of marijuana to treat his back pain and PTSD. He said that, compared with the many drugs prescribed to him over the years, cannabis has been the most effective in treating his symptoms.
Wisconsin lawmakers appear to be heeding the call for marijuana law reform.
Two medical marijuana bills were recently introduced in the Wisconsin legislature. One bill would legalize use of cannabis for medical purposes, and the other bill (seen as a backup measure) calls for a referendum on the issue, allowing voters to decide whether medical marijuana should be available to patients.
Lawmakers in favor of legalizing medical marijuana were recently encouraged to hear Assembly Speaker Robin Vos express his willingness to consider legalization.
What does the proposed legislation say?
If approved in the legislature, the medical marijuana bill would do a number of things, including:
- Allow patients with certain conditions to acquire and possess medical marijuana
- Allow registered patients to possess no more than 12 plants and 3 ounces of flowers or leaves
- Allow the state to license dispensaries, each of which would have to be located at least 500 feet from schools
The bill would also allow for patients to be prosecuted if they drive under the influence of marijuana or use marijuana on school grounds or public transit.
Currently, marijuana laws and penalties are not consistent across Wisconsin.
As we discussed in a recent post, Wisconsin has a patchwork of marijuana laws. Some cities have decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, but possessing any amount of marijuana is still illegal on the state level.
If you find yourself facing any kind of drug charge in Wisconsin, do not hesitate to mount your best defense. For more on that, please see Kim & LaVoy's drug offense overview.