Every state in the US seems to be considering if not actually passing some marijuana reform. In Washington and Colorado, adults can now legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. In a few dozen other states, patients with qualifying conditions can get access to medical pot. So, where does Wisconsin fall in all of this and how soon can we expect to see current marijuana laws fall?
According to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), both a bill proposing legalization of recreational marijuana and one legalizing medicinal marijuana have been introduced to lawmakers. But it’s believed neither will be passed this year. Still, all hope is not lost.
Recently, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill making it legal to use cannabidiol (CBD), an extract from marijuana that has been shown to be a worthwhile treatment especially in the battle against seizure disorders in children. Several states are considering similar legislation as families have actually packed up and left their respective homes to live in Colorado and have access to the medicine.
As Reason.com reports, one of the reasons cannabidiol is an easier sell to lawmakers is that “there’s no chance anybody would enjoy taking it.”
CBD contains such a small amount of THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana, that it doesn’t make you “high” at all. There are virtually no side effects—no giggles, no bliss, no munchies. It’s just the kind of pot that all lawmakers can get behind.
But the snail’s pace of marijuana legislation in Wisconsin shouldn’t be downplayed. By allowing CBD, lawmakers admit marijuana does have some medical applications. This means they are more likely to warm up to the idea of a medical marijuana system, one that would allow chronic pain sufferers, cancer patients, and those suffering from glaucoma, eventual access to the kind of marijuana that does deliver a high.
Even lawmakers who at first blush seem dead-set against all marijuana, have a glimmer of potential change in their eyes.
“My own personal standpoint is: I don’t support medical marijuana or recreational,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to Fox 6. But, he added, “I’m curious to see what does happen in Colorado. They’re reporting revenue numbers in excess of $3 million a month, but along with that is going to be the squeeze on services in that state, so I’m watching what happens in Colorado.”
In other words, he isn’t all that committed to his anti-pot stance.
For now, and for the foreseeable future, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor crime carrying the potential for 6 months in jail for a first time offense.