The state legislature is back in session today and while they are busy doing their regular session work like renumbering acts and debating about campaign finance reform, Rep. Mark Pocan sent out an acknowledgement and a little reminder about how New Jersey quickly passed a reform bill to decriminalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
New Jersey was the 14th state to change their state law on medical marijuana when their Governor signed their bill last night. Wisconsin could be next if legislative leadership wasn’t afraid of the issue. But despite polling that shows that the people strongly support decriminalizing medical marijuana (for instance, the Sheboygan Press just published their supportive editorial today - about 8 in 10 are supportive according to the most recent ABC poll), Democratic leadership in the state Assembly and Senate must be listening to the criticisms of the bill from committee Republicans like Rep. Leah Vukmir and long-time marijuana opponents like Dr. Michael Miller from the Wisconsin Medical Society (who said at the hearing that people who want to legalize “reefer” shouldn’t “confuse compassion with medicine”) have said they aren’t enthusiastic to get this bill to the floor for a vote.
People who support the decriminalization of cannabis for medical purposes will be gathering at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Wednesday, January 20th to lobby their legislators on the topic. The event will start at noon on the second floor rotunda for a memorial tribute for activist Mary Powers who worked to legalize this relatively cheap and effective medicine for her illness until the day she died. Members of Is My Medicine Legal Yet will be asking legislators to support AB 554 and SB 368, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act either in person or via telephone and are asking people to call in statewide at (800) 362-9472 (Who Are My Legislators?)