Updated on May 19, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana laws in Wisconsin are particularly frustrating, especially when it comes to the issue of cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Even though this cannabis extract is “legal” in the state, it’s basically impossible for patients to access it. This potentially life-saving product that can help children suffering from terrible epileptic seizures remains out of their grasp due to technicalities.
Wisconsin has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession and cultivation. Learn more about Wisconsin marijuana laws below.
A telling indication of where the subject of medical weed stands in Wisconsin appeared on the website of Milwaukee television station FOX 6 on January 4, 2017. The state’s Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos, stated that he was “open” to legalizing medical pot. He told the station that he would be amenable to allowing someone with “a sincere medical need” to have access to medicinal cannabis.
In the same article, however, the state’s Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, was apparently shocked by Vos’ remarks. Fitzgerald said that he’s “certainly not there personally.” Fitzgerald went on to say that he does not think medical marijuana would help curb the state’s substantial opiate addiction problem, instead of saying he’s in favor of providing more tools to law enforcement to help them combat it.
But even though Vos is at least open to the possibility of changing Wisconsin’s medical marijuana laws, he said he would not present any legislation in the 2017 session. He also said he didn’t think there was much of a chance any such bills would advance — with the exception of potential legislation that would open up CBD oil access for patients suffering from seizures.
And this is one area where Vos and Fitzgerald seemed to be in agreement. As a result, as of this writing, it seemed that the CBD oil technicality would be finally scrapped.
The state of Wisconsin considers marijuana to be a Schedule I hallucinogen. First-time offenders convicted of possession — regardless of the amount — face up to six months of jail time and a fine of as much as $1,000. Second and subsequent convictions are treated as felonies, with punishment of as long as 3.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
In some instances, however, first-time offenders may be eligible for alternative sentencing under a conditional release program. This provides some people with the choice of either a trial or probation. If they choose the latter and successfully complete their probation, then the charge will be dropped.
Regarding paraphernalia, it is illegal to either use it or possess it with the intent to use. Wisconsin marijuana laws state that paraphernalia includes anything that could help someone grow, inhale, ingest or distribute weed. Possessing paraphernalia carries with it a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Selling it is also a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a fine of as much as $1,000.
Check back with MarijuanaDoctors.com often, and we will keep you informed on medical marijuana laws in Wisconsin as developments warrant.