Wisconsin Legislature moves toward legalizing recreational cannabis The Badger Herald

61 percent of Wisconsin residents support the legalization of cannabis, the drug is legal in two neighboring countries States and decriminalized in Madison.

Still, it will be difficult to legalize recreational marijuana at the state level — although Wisconsin is moving in that direction, Wisconsin Assembly Leader Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said Monday. .

Cannabis legalization is receiving growing bipartisan support in Wisconsin. In 2021, Governor Tony Evers and Senator Melissa Agard D-Madison has separately proposed legalizing marijuana in Wisconsin.

In January 2022, Republicans in Wisconsin proposed legalizing the medical use of cannabis. Proponents of marijuana legalization cite economic benefits and a safer market for users in their argument.

But if Wisconsin legalizes cannabis, it will be difficult for the state to create quality control measures because the United States does not have national standards on cannabis consumption, said Natalie Schmitz, professor of pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin and a researcher in medicinal cannabinoids.

“It’s important to be transparent and specific with what’s in these different products,” Schmitz said.

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Cannabis plants can contain different types of cannabinoids, and how those cannabinoids affect patients can vary, Schmitz said. This can be dangerous for patients who acquire cannabis without the direction and supervision of a physician, Schmitz said.

Schmitz said she supports Wisconsin passing a law legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, provided the legislation also includes policies on its safe use — such as requiring pharmacists to oversee dispensing or educate patients about side effects.

“I think it’s important that we have quality products and that patients can use them safely under the guidance of a healthcare professional,” Schmitz said.

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