Gov. Tony Evers proposed to change some of Wisconsin’s current marijuana laws including legalizing medical marijuana, aligning state laws on CBD oil with federal standards and decriminalizing small amounts of possession Monday.
According to a press release, the proposal will be included in the next state budget.
“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge,” Evers said in the press release. “People shouldn’t be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering.”
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The proposed reformation would add Wisconsin to the over 30 states that have legalized medical marijuana for specific uses, the press release said. It would allow the use of marijuana under the recommendation of a physician, for medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, severe nausea and seizures.
Evers explained the reformation was not just about health care, but also about addressing racial disparities. Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rate for black men in the country and drug-related crimes account for a huge percentage of all inmates in Wisconsin prisons.
“Too many people, often persons of color, spend time in our criminal justice system just for possessing small amounts of marijuana,” Evers said in the press release. “That doesn’t make our communities stronger or safer.”
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Evers’ proposal would decriminalize possession, manufacturing or distribution of marijuana for amounts of 25 grams or less. It would also expunge the records of people with previous convictions for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Evers hopes the state legislators and executive will work together on this issue.
“This shouldn’t be a Republican issue or Democratic issue, and I look forward to working on both sides of the aisle to pass this proposal in my budget,” Evers wrote.