Seriously ill patients would be able to get a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, under legislation being introduced at the Capitol. State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) says the bill is about compassion and health care reform, with the goal of giving patients and their doctors another valid form of treatment for serious medical conditions.
Under the bill, patients would be able to grow their own marijuana or buy it from state licensed facilities. State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) says there will be tight controls on how much cannabis a person can have and who can use it. Any patient who receives a prescription would have to register with state health officials.
The legislation is being introduced as the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. It’s named for a Wisconsin woman who says the drug is the best treatment for the rare muscular disease she suffers from. Rickert says many people already rely on marijuana to treat symptoms, but face being treated like criminals until it’s used is legalized.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 13 states. Previous attempts to legalize it in Wisconsin have been met with resistance. The version introduced this week currently has 17 co-sponsors, but Pocan and Erpenbach have not said whether legislative leadership supports the proposal. Governor Doyle has said he would sign a medical marijuana bill, as long as it requires a prescription from a doctor.
The legislation will receive a Capitol hearing in December.