Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, an indication GOP lawmakers are warming to a proposal that has for years failed to become a reality in Wisconsin.
The bill, from Rep. Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, and Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, would create a regulatory framework to cultivate, process, test and dispense cannabis to people who obtain a recommendation from a medical professional.
“Each one of us knows someone that has suffered through an illness,” Felzkowski said in a statement. “Medical marijuana is just another tool in the toolbox to help our suffering loved ones make it through the day with some semblance of normalcy.”
The effort, perhaps the first time in Wisconsin two Republicans from either chamber introduced a medical marijuana bill, is unlikely to pass both houses this session. While Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, has said he is open to medical marijuana, Republicans in the state Senate are more skeptical.
Earlier this year, Republicans shot down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal in the state budget to decriminalize marijuana and legalize it for medical use.
In September, Republican Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, joined Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point, in the first bipartisan bill since 2001 to legalize medical marijuana, but the bill hasn’t advanced.