On Wednesday, Wisconsin Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry held a public hearing on Senate Bill 1034 relating to medical marijuana. Prior to the hearing, State Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison), a vocal supporter of marijuana legalization, revealed that she will testify against the bill and released the following statement as reported by WisPolitics:
“The most dangerous thing about cannabis in Wisconsin is that it is illegal. Senate Bill 1034 falls drastically short of the cannabis reform our state desperately needs and what the majority of Wisconsinites support: full cannabis legalization,” she wrote.
“While I am encouraged that Senate Bill 1034 received a public hearing, we as legislators had 15 months of this session in which we could have worked on cannabis legalization in a bipartisan manner. Instead, this bill does not go nearly far enough for cannabis reform or adequately address the harms of cannabis prohibition in Wisconsin,” Agard said, further stressing that Wisconsinites are ready for marijuana reform, with some 61% supporting it.
“We cannot settle for half-baked, insufficient legislation that is nothing more than a political ploy to give folks false hope on the prospects of cannabis legalization here in Wisconsin. We must put our efforts behind full cannabis legalization,” Agard concluded.
One of the problems in relation to the hearing is the inability of the measure to become the law this year because the Legislature has adjourned and will to be back in session until 2023. While there’s no doubt that the Senate committee hearing on the medical marijuana bill is an accomplishment in that it enables supporters to present their arguments about MMJ's benefits as they seek reform in the state, Sen. Agard previously noted that this was insufficient.
She explained at the time that this is the second session in a row wherein “legislative Republicans have introduced a late session, politically motivated bill to try and fool the people of Wisconsin into thinking they are genuine about legalization. Having a public hearing after the session has already been gaveled out is a cynical political ploy that gives people false hope about the prospects of this legislation.”
Agard concluded that she is disappointed by her Republican colleagues, who did not see fit to help her in her cannabis legalization efforts.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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