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Wisconsin's Democratic governor released details about his plan to enact far-reaching marijuana reforms in the state Feb. 18, 2019.

As part of a budget proposal set to be formally submitted to Wisconsin lawmakers later in February 2019, Gov. Tony Evers is calling for medical cannabis legalization and the elimination of penalties for low-level marijuana possession, manufacturing, and distribution for amounts less than 25 grams, or less than 1 ounce. People with past cannabis convictions could apply to have their records expunged.

Evers said during a press conference that the proposal calls for decriminalization — instead of outright legalization — because the administration is “starting with places that we feel we can win.”

“I believe that there are Republicans out there that feel confident that this is something that's important — not only around the issue of medical marijuana but also decriminalizing small amounts,” he said. “It connects the dots with our efforts that we're going to be having going forward around the issue of criminal justice reform. We feel it's a good starting place.”

Evers also emphasized that this is not the “ending point” for discussions about adult-use legalization.

“But it's a great starting place because it's going to help people who need additional resources at their disposal to take care of pain and other issues that they might have,” he said. “And it's a good place to start to make sure that we're having fairness in our criminal justice system.”

The proposal would allow patients with certain conditions such as chronic pain or seizures to obtain a medical cannabis recommendation from physicians. Evers also wants to expand access to cannabidiol (CBD) products by removing an existing policy that requires a physician's yearly authorization.

“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge. People shouldn't be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering,” Evers said in a press release. “Wisconsinites overwhelmingly agree that this is a critically important issue. But it's not just about access to health care, it's about connecting the dots between racial disparities and economic inequity.”

Medical cannabis patients would be allowed to possess up to 3 ounces, or 85 grams, of cannabis or up to 12 plants, according to an outline of the proposal distributed by the governor's office. The plan would also prohibit individuals who've been convicted of “various violent felonies” in the last 10 years from becoming registered medical marijuana patients.

Evers also announced today that his budget will legalize medical marijuana & ensure access to CBD oil in Wisconsin. A link to the governor's press conference announcing his marijuana plan was posted on his social media accounts.

Featured Image: Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Feb. 18, 2019, that the state is going to debate legalization of medical cannabis and decriminalization of low-level of marijuana possession, manufacturing and distribution. (Photo by Gov. Tony Evers via Flickr; used with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license)