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Wisconsin Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Gains Traction with GOP

A cannabis decriminalization bill in Wisconsin has drawn support from both sides of the aisle, including five Republican co-sponsors, according to Gary Storck of Rep. Gordon Hintz is also counted among the bill’s sponsors – the first time the Democrat has sponsored cannabis-related legislation.

The measure would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis, providing for fines of no more than $100 for possession of 10 grams of less. Penalties for possession of more than 25 grams would still be harsh – a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Felony charges would be imposed for subsequent offenses of possessing more than 10 grams.

The measure has been moved to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, which counts two of the bill’s sponsors among its members – Sens. Fred Risser and Lena Taylor, both Democrats.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has publicly opposed any cannabis law reforms beyond the state’s limited CBD-only medical cannabis law, which allows patients with any medical condition to access CBD products with a doctor’s recommendation. Legislation to enact a more comprehensive medical cannabis program has been introduced in both chambers of the legislature but has failed to garner the support of Republicans, who comprise the majority of both chambers.

Walker has not publicly commented on the decriminalization measure.

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