GOP Senator Van Wanggaard circulating Wisconsin CBD bill fix

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Feb. 2014 Assembly hearing on cannabidiol law passed in April 2014 was standing-room only. (Copyright Cannabadger.com)

State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), is circulating legislation that would end the requirement that patients have a prescription for cannabidiol oil in order to use it. Under the proposal, LRB-1911, people could not be prosecuted simply for possessing CBD. The bill, however, includes no provisions on how patients might obtain it.

State lawmakers unanimously passed legislation April 1, 2014, that legalized the use of CBD oil for seizure disorders. However the law was so tightly written that no patients were able to access it. Passage of the CBD bill came the same day as the 2014 Spring General elections, when Dane County voters easily passed an advisory referendum supporting full legalization of cannabis in Wisconsin.

While some news reports call the bill a “fix” of last session’s failed law, Sen. Wanggaard’s office wrote in an email that, “To be clear, this bill does not in fact “fix” medical marijuana laws, since strictly cannabidiol oil use is what was passed last session. This bill helps to increases access to CBD oil for those who need it.”

Considering that zero patients had legal access on the law passed last session, if passed it may finally open up access for the limited number of patients who qualify.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin voters of all political stripes have long supported comprehensive legislation that would cover more patients and conditions and allow patients access to whole plant cannabis, the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act.

Polling conducted as far back as 2002 for Is My Medicine Legal YET? by Chamberlain Research Associates established that over 80% of Wisconsinites want full access. A Nov. 2010 advisory referendum on medical cannabis in Dane County passed overwhelmingly, garnering over 75% of the vote. Meanwhile, state lawmakers continue to lag far behind the public on this issue.

Following is the analysis from the LRB:

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Current law designates tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) as a schedule I controlled substance. Current law specifies that THC does not include cannabidiol (CBD oil) in a form without a psychoactive effect that is dispensed by a pharmacy or physician approved by the Controlled Substances Board or that is possessed by an individual who has documentation from a physician that the CBD oil is used for the treatment of a seizure disorder. This bill eliminates the requirement that, to be excluded from the definition of THC, the CBD oil must be dispensed by an approved pharmacy or physician or possessed by an individual with such documentation.

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  1. UPDATE: The bill sponsors, in addition to Wanggaard, include Sen. Robert Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) and Reps. Robb Kahl (D-Madison) and Scott Krug (R-WI Rapids), the original cosponsors of last year’s bill.

    This is from the cosponsor memo: “One year and one week ago today, “Lydia’s Law” (2013 AB 726/Act 267) became law, allowing families with seizure disorders to access non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil with a prescription from a Wisconsin provider. Unfortunately, less than one month later, on Mother’s Day, Lydia Schaeffer passed away. Her death shattered all who knew her.

    In the year since Lydia’s death, we have come to learn that despite the 2013 legislature’s best intentions, CBD Oil is still unavailable to those who need it most. Because of the hurdles and red tape associated with a clinical trial of CBD oil for seizure disorders, no Wisconsin providers are willing to prescribe CBD Oil as a treatment.

    LRB 1911/1 attempts to address this problem. Act 267 specifies that CBD oil with a prescription is not a Schedule I drug. LRB 1911/1 specifies that possession (and use) of CBD oil without a prescription is not a Schedule I drug in Wisconsin. In essence, this will allow for parents to possess and use CBD Oil in Wisconsin without fear of prosecution from local authorities. The remainder of Lydia’s Law remains in place.

    It is important to note what this bill does NOT do. This bill does not undo the work of the 2013 Legislature. It also does not address the many federal hurdles that remain to CBD Oil use. Most importantly, the bill is NOT a first step to legal medicinal or recreational marijuana in Wisconsin.

    LRB 1911/1 is an attempt to eliminate one of the local hurdles to the use of non-psychoactive CBD Oil for families devastated by seizures disorders.”

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