by Benjamin Yount
No one is going to be completely happy with whatever Wisconsin’s new medical marijuana legislation looks like.
Sen. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, the woman driving the new push for medical pot made that promise on Wednesday as she asked marijuana supporters to be patient with lawmakers.
“We’re going to get what we can get. We’re going to pass what we can pass. We’re going to help those we can help,” Felzkowski explained during a hearing at the statehouse. “And then we’ll come back to the drawing table and we’ll move it again.”
Many marijuana supporters in Wisconsin, including a number of Democratic lawmakers, have expressed dissatisfaction with Felzkowski’s proposal.
Her legislation creates a medical marijuana program in the state, but requires a prescription from a doctor, limits the number of conditions for which people can get a medical marijuana prescription, and does not allow people to use marijuana plants for their treatment. Instead the legislation defines medical marijuana as “a liquid, oil, pill, or tincture or in a form that is applied topically.”
“When the medical marijuana bill comes out, it’s not going to be what you want,” Felzkowski told advocates on Wednesday. “It’s not going to be what some other people want. It’s going to go too far for some, and it’s not going to go far enough for others. But it’s what is possible.”
Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, offered the same advice to marijuana supporters, many who want full legalization.
“[The process] doesn’t work the way you think it works,” Taylor added. “How it should be, and how it is are very different.”
But the plea for patience fell on deaf ears with other senators.
Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison, who is one of Wisconsin’s strongest marijuana supporters, went on the record opposing Felzkowski’s legislation.
“This bill does not do nearly far enough for cannabis reform or adequately address the harms of cannabis prohibition in Wisconsin,” Agard said. “We cannot settle for half-baked, insufficient legislation that is nothing more than a political ploy to give folks false hope on the prospects of cannabis legalization here in Wisconsin. We must put our efforts behind full cannabis legalization.”
The legislation is not going anywhere, the legislature has adjourned for the year. But Felzkowski is promising a full effort on the plan when lawmakers return to the Capitol next year.
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