MADISON (WKOW) — A Republican lawmaker has joined with two Democrats in introducing a bill which they say would legalize marijuana prescriptions in Wisconsin
Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton), Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) announced in a joint statement Friday that they brought forward a bipartisan bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
The bill is the first bipartisan effort to legalize medical cannabis since 2001, according to the lawmakers.
“Growing up, my grandfather was one of my heroes. I watched as cancer robbed him of his strength and vitality,” said Senator Testin. “I saw him make the decision to go outside the law to seek treatment with medical marijuana. It restored his appetite, and I believe it added months to his life. Doctors and patients, not government, should decide if cannabis is the right treatment.”
In the fall of 2018, nonbinding referendums in 16 counties and two cities garnered close to 1 million votes in support of legalizing medical or recreational marijuana.
The state lawmakers say their bill “creates a tightly regulated process that requires a recommendation from a doctor with whom a patient has an established relationship.” It also directs state agencies to create a registry and licensing system.
The bill, according to the legislators, attempts to ensure patients can access cannabis even if they live far from a dispensary.