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GOP Leaders: Evers’ Medical Marijuana Proposal Won’t Be Approved

Chairs Of Legislature's Budget Committee Say Plan Is A No-Go

marijuana plant close up
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin will not be included in the next state budget, according to two top GOP lawmakers.

The governor proposed legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing up to 25 grams of marijuana earlier this year.

But the leaders of the Legislature’s state budget committee said the proposal will not be approved as part of the state budget, as Evers wanted.

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Speaking at a WisPolitics event in Madison, state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said she’s concerned about parts of the governor’s proposal that would allow people to grow and distribute marijuana.

“When you read what he actually has in his budget, it’s really off the wall scary,” Darling said.

In addition to decriminalizing posession and sale of less than 25 grams of marijuana, Evers’ budget would also set state regulations for manufacturing and sales of medical marijuana at dispensaries.

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, who co-chairs the Legislature’s state budget committee with Darling, said the plan should be its own bill, rather than an element of the state’s two-year spending plan.

“Something of that substance, in my opinion — no pun intended — needs a much larger conversation than being stuck into a 2,000-page document,” he said.

The governor has said people with certain medical conditions should be able to access marijuana for treatment and that decriminalization would help reduce the state’s prison population.