Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers File Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana, While Governor Pushes Full Legalization

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Gov. Tony Evers (D), meanwhile, is asking lawmakers to fully legalize cannabis through his budget proposal. By Isiah Holmes, Wisconsin Examiner A bipartisan bill aiming to reduce existing fines for possessing cannabis is getting another shot in the Wisconsin Assembly. The bill would reduce fines for possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis from no more than $1,000 to $100, while eliminating the six months of imprisonment that may come with that charge under current law. Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) is the only senator sponsoring the bill thus far. In early 2020, Bernier, along with then-state Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma), pushed legislation for legalizing medicinal cannabis in Wisconsin. In the wake of that move, Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers) introduced a bill to drop the existing fines for 10 grams of cannabis or less. Wisconsin has become an island surrounded by U.S. states, and an international neighbor to the north, with legalized cannabis. This reality has compelled some lawmakers on both the state and local levels to continue to push for reformative policies. Much has changed in the year since those initial pushes in 2020. Felzkowski is now a state senator, some anti-cannabis GOP lawmakers are no longer in the state Assembly and Senate and the country is still reeling from the economic costs of the pandemic, which arrived just a couple months after Bernier, Felzkowski and others first drafted the cannabis bills. Local municipalities, including Madison, Appleton and Milwaukee have also explored the possibility of lowering fines and de-prioritizing cannabis enforcement. Lowering fines, however, is not the same as legalizing the plant. Gov. Tony Evers has rekindled efforts to bring cannabis legalization in the upcoming state budget, pointing to it as a possible significant boost to Wisconsin’s ailing economy. Republican leadership, however, remains generally resistant to cannabis…

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Source : Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers File Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana, While Governor Pushes Full Legalization

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