Wisconsin lawmakers introduced new medical marijuana legislation Wednesday in Madison.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Mark Pocan and Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, would give patients with certain debilitating diseases and conditions access to medicinal marijuana with a prescription from their doctor without fear of prosecution.
“This is an issue where people are clearly way ahead of the policy makers,” Pocan said. “The Wisconsin Legislature needs to catch up with the public and pass this bill because making medical marijuana legal is the right and compassionate thing to do for patients in pain.”
The bill, named the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act after a Mondovi woman and medicinal marijuana user who is a longtime advocate for legalizing medicinal marijuana and co-founded the group Is My Medicine Legal Yet? (IMMLY), is co-authored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). It would allow patients with glaucoma, cancer, AIDS and other diseases to access marijuana with a prescription from their doctors.
The bill was last attempted when Democrats controlled the Legislature in 2010, but it couldn't find enough support then to pass. Now Republicans control both the Senate and Assembly and it's unlikely to win favor this time around either.
"There's no question in my mind that some day we will have it in Wisconsin, but we have to keep putting it out there to keep gaining the support," Rep. Pocan said.
The senate and assembly will have a combined public hearing on the medical marijuana bill Dec. 15th.