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Is Wisconsin Next to Legalize Marijuana?


Currently, 11 states and the District of Columia have adopted laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana. D.C. and 33 other states also have laws for the use of medical cannabis. Illinois, one of Wisconsin’s neighboring states, was one of the most recent to pass recreational marijauna laws. Starting January 1 of next year, it will be legal to purchase and possess recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Wisconsin is still one of the states on the other end of the spectrum that has yet to legalize marijuana to any expansive degree. Under Wisconsin’s marijuana laws, any use of the substance is illegal. However, Wisconsin legislators are pushing for more changes to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

The Big Debate

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has proposed laws that would legalize medical marijuana and also decriminalize the possession of small amounts. Many Wisconsin Republicans are still not on board with legalizing marijuana.

However, most recently, two democrats, Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Chris, Taylor, and one republican, Sen. Patrick Testin, teamed up on a bill that would legalize medical marijuana and give licenses to growers. The three Wisconsin lawmakers said in a joint statement that the “time has come to lift the state's restrictions.” Under the proposed medical marijuana law, patients would have to:

  • join a new state Department of Health Services registry

  • have a medical condition to qualify for the registry like AIDS, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, severe pain, or chronic disease

  • obtain approval from a doctor after diagnosis to qualify and join the registry

  • pay a registration fee of $250 and an annual fee of $250

  • Not have a prior violent felony conviction

Expanding marijuana laws could also mean that thousands with prior marijuana convictions may be able to seek expungement. We will have to wait to see if marijuana laws will change in 2020.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a marijuana-related crime, every step you take is crucial. Depending on the charge, punishments may vary and can include hefty fines, court-mandated treatment programs, and jail time.

A hard-hitting and aggressive legal advocate in your corner like criminal defense attorney Jason D. Baltz can be the difference you need to obtain a favorable outcome.

Contact our firm at (414) 375-0797 to schedule a case review with Jason Baltz.

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