In Wisconsin, the subject of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been nearly untouched aside from a 2014 proposal that exempted patients with seizure afflictions and a doctor’s recommendation from arrest for possessing or using CBD oil. That proposal didn’t do much to help patients with seizures and nothing to help the many other patients who would benefit from medical cannabis. This year they are making another attempt at passing a CBD proposal that would legalize the use and possession cannabidiol for patients with a doctor’s prescription.
A similar proposal was introduced last year in the Assembly and passed, however, it never made it out of the Senate. This proposal was introduced in the Senate and was approved with a 31-1 vote, with the lone opponent Duey Stroebel, a Republican Senator. While this proposal will open up access to non-psychoactive CBD oil to patients beyond those with seizure disorders, many find that marijuana products with both THC and CBD are more beneficial for most disorders. This means that those this law will help are still greatly limited in comparison to patients in other medical cannabis states.
Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, one of the bill’s co-sponsors stated, “If we had done this when the debate first started, it would have cut out four years of suffering for those kids, four years of anguish for those parents.” While it’s likely that this proposal will pass in the Assembly, considering a similar measure made it through last year, there are still too many flaws in the way it’s written. Not only do CBD-only laws limit the number of suffering patients that can legally benefit from medical cannabis, but many don’t create a legal way for patients to access this medicine once a doctor approves it for them in a prescription.
This proposal would not create in-state production or sale of CBD oil, so no matter how patients or caregivers go about it, they are still taking a legal risk just to obtain their medicine. However, while this bill does not go as far as it really needs to, it is at the very least a start. It will give many parents and patients the comfort of knowing at least part of the risk in using their preferred method of treatment has been taken away.