GREEN BAY, Wisc. – Wisconsin Brown County supervisor Bernie Erickson is proposing that Wisconsin legalize medical marijuana. Erickson wants the state to legalize all extracts derived from marijuana and is urging his colleagues to do the same.
Erickson's proposal asks the Brown County Board to request that the state legalize and regulate any substance extracted from the cannabis plant. Prescriptions for the drug would be required by a physician for any products containing levels of THC higher than 0.3 percent.
A poll conducted in 2016 found that nearly 60 percent of Wisconsin voters were in support of legalizing marijuana and regulating it in the same way as alcohol. Erickson wants the drug regulated and sold in pharmacies so that patients can get laboratory-tested medicine that is safe, adding that they shouldn't have to buy it at a gas station. A Wisconsin woman died Wednesday after consuming synthetic marijuana that contained rat poison. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that at least 45 people became ill from the synthetic marijuana called K2 or spice in the state. Rat poison was a factor in most of the synthetic marijuana overdoses.
Will Wisconsin Legalize Medical Marijuana?
Several counties in Wisconsin have already voted to add a marijuana referendum to the November ballot. The ballot referendum asks if the state should legalize the drug for adults 21 and older.
Brown County supervisors debated the issue with the public for several hours before voting to allow Brown County residents to vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana. Fifty-four of 72 Wisconsin counties supported marijuana referendums back in 2010.
Medical marijuana is legal in Washington D.C. and 29 states, and Wisconsin could be next if the advisory referendum passes and the State Legislature drafts a bill. Wisconsin has already decriminalized the drug in some counties. A bill was passed that decreased the marijuana possession penalty down to a $100 fine, and all eight Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Wisconsin support legalizing medical marijuana.
Gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn said that he would legalize recreational and medical marijuana and tax it like alcohol. Flynn, who is a lawyer and former Navy veteran, says that he would regulate the drug for adults 21 and older, adding that something legal in another state should not be a felony in Wisconsin.
Erickson's proposal is scheduled to have its first airing with the executive committee on Aug. 6 in Green Bay.