Wisconsin US House delegation backs state medical cannabis laws 6-2

Wisconsin delegation casts historic 6-2 vote in favor of medical cannabis. (Source Wikipedia/Public domain)

A record six Wisconsin congressional representatives were on board today as the U.S. House passed the Rohrabacher-Farr Medical Marijuana Amendment, which prevents the Justice Department from interfering with states that have legalized medical marijuana. The vote was 242-186. This represents a significant increase in support over last year when the amendment passed by a 219-189 vote.

Voting in favor were Reps. Glenn Grothman (R-6), Reid Ribble (R-8), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-5), Ron Kind (D-3), Gwen Moore (D-4) and Mark Pocan (D-2). The votes by Sensenbrenner and Grothman may possibly be their first-ever votes in favor of medical cannabis, including Grothman’s time in the Wisconsin legislature before his election to Congress last Nov. Wisconsin opponents were now down to just two, Paul Ryan (R-1) and Sean Duffy (R-7). The delegation had split 5-3 on a party lines just recently on an amendment regarding medical cannabis and veterans.

Last year, the Wisconsin delegation voted 5-3 in favor with Reps. Reid Ribble and Tom Petri (R-6) joining Reps Pocan, Moore and Kind. Voting against were Reps.  Sensenbrenner, Ryan and Duffy. In a similar 2012 vote, the delegation split 4-4, with Ron Kind voting against the amendment. Petri retired and Grothman was elected his seat in Nov. 2014.

Rep. Ribble was also one of 6 Republican and 6 Democratic sponsors of the amendment, joining Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Joe Heck (R-NV), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV).

Today was a big day for cannabis on the Hill with Congress passing three out of four cannabis-related measures.

Wisconsin representatives split 4-4 on the single failed amendment from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) which would have prohibited states from using federal funds to implement their own laws regarding marijuana, including in states where marijuana is legal for recreational use.

Wisconsin reps split 5-3 on another amendment, from Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), to protect state laws allowing industrial hemp which passed on a vote of 282-146. Ribble and Grothman joined the three Dems Pocan, Moore and Kind. This was likely Grothman’s first lifetime pro-hemp vote.

An amendment from Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) to protect state laws allowing for the use of CBD cannabis oil passed 297-130. The Wisconsin delegation voted 8-0 in favor.

Today’s votes mark a historic day in national cannabis policy an for the Wisconsin delegation as well with even hardened longtime opponents Jim Sensenbrenner and Glenn Grothman casting their likely first-ever pro cannabis votes. Hopefully the vote will be noticed at the Wisconsin Capitol where majority Republicans have so far only supported CBD legislation with minor support for industrial hemp like this session’s bill AB 215.

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