Speaker Robin Vos has a message for Senate Republicans regarding a medical marijuana bill from Assembly Republicans – and it appears to be take it or leave it.
“Most good ideas start with the Assembly,” Vos said at the Capitol on Tuesday. “We have put in months and months of negotiations. We have a very detailed bill that I am pretty sure has 50 votes in our caucus to pass so taking and renegotiating the bill means we probably lose votes in our caucus.”
Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu last week rejected the Assembly bill but indicated Senate Republicans were open to changes. LeMahieu specifically cited the provision calling for state operated medical marijuana dispensaries.
“There’s a of good things in the bill. But my caucus, and I think even a lot of members of the Assembly caucus, have campaigned on not growing the size of government. So setting up state run dispensaries I think is a non-starter with a lot of our caucus members,” LeMahieu said during a WisPolitics luncheon event in Madison.
Under the proposal, the state Department of Health Services would have oversight of five dispensaries located around Wisconsin, and Vos said having state government oversight is a important component of the plan, which would provide medical cannabis to patients with conditions including cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Vos said the bill would establish the most restrictive such program in the nation.