Cannabis in Wisconsin

Cannabis in Wisconsin is illegal with the exception of non-psychoactive medical CBD oil, and even first-time possession of any quantity is a misdemeanor with up to six months of incarceration, and repeated possession a felony.[1]

CBD oil was legalized in 2014, but under tight controls and for a very limited number of conditions, primary seizures.

Industrial hemp

Industrial hemp was grown experimentally in Wisconsin as early as 1908 at the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station.[2][3]

The Rens Hemp Company of Brandon, Wisconsin, closed in 1958, the last legal hemp producer nationwide in operation following the World Wars.[4] Prior to its 1957 shutdown, Rens had been the primary provider of hemp rope for the United States Navy.[5]


The 1939 legislation "161.275 Possession and use of marijuana; penalty" stated that the penalty for "growing, cultivating, mixing, compounding, having control of, preparing, possessing, using, prescribing, selling, administering or dispensing marijuana or hemp" would be no less than one year and no more than two years in the state prison.[6]

2014 CBD legalization

In April 2014, 2013 Assembly Bill 726 was passed as Wisconsin Act 267 (titled a month later as "Lydia's Law") by an Assembly voice vote and unanimous Senate vote of 33–0, and enacted on 16 April 2014.[7] The bill was criticized as being largely symbolic, as in order to gain support for passage its sponsors added a clause specifying that CBD oil must have FDA approval to be prescribed; prior to that clause the bill had support in the Assembly but was stalled in the Senate. Lacking FDA approval, or a complex series of steps to allow trial usage, Wisconsin doctors are not allowed to prescribe CBD.[8] As of May 2015, CBD advocates stated that they could not find a doctor in Wisconsin willing to prescribe CBD. In mid-2015, a state legislator proposed an amendment to remove penalties for possession of CBD oil, negating prescription requirements, but the amendment still would not provide a legal way to create or obtain CBD oil.[9]

Reform attempts

In 2013 and 2015, State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) introduced bills to fully legalize cannabis in the state, with no success.[10][11]


Menominee Indian Reservation

In August 2015 the Menominee Indian Reservation held a vote on proposed measures to legalize medical and/or recreational cannabis. The Menonimee are uniquely placed in the state, as the only American Indian reservation which falls only under federal law, rather than under Wisconsin Public Law 280 like all other reservations in the state, meaning that the state of Wisconsin cannot prevent legal changes within the sovereign reservation.[12]

Dane County

On April 1, 2014 voters of Dane county voted on a nonbinding referendum to legalize marijuana. It passed with 65% of the vote.[13]


  1. "Wisconsin Laws & Penalties". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  2. United States. Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering (1908). Report. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 39.
  3. United States. Dept. of Agriculture (1910). Report of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Department. p. 77.
  4. Tappi Journal. Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry. 1999. p. 114.
  5. John Roulac (1 January 1997). Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World's Most Promising Plant. Chelsea Green Pub. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-930031-93-0.
  6. Wisconsin (1939). Wisconsin Statutes, 1939: Printed Pursuant to the Provisions of Section 35.18 of These Statutes, and Embracing All General Statutes in Force at the Close of the General Session of 1939. Legislative Reference Bureau. pp. 1893–. STANFORD:36105064280782.
  7. WSAW Staff. "Gov. Walker Renaming Wisconsin Act 267 "Lydia's Law" in Honor of Girl, 7". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  8. Ferguson, Dana (2014-06-16). "Law allowing marijuana derivative for treatment of seizures remains unused". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  9. MARK SCHAAF Racine Journal-Times (2015-04-20). "'Lydia's Law' passes, but treatment still elusive (copy) : Wsj". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  10. REP. MELISSA SARGENT (Democratic Wisconsin Assembly member) (2015-04-13). "Rep. Melissa Sargent: Marijuana legalization must happen in Wisconsin : Ct". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  11. Marley, Patrick (2015-04-13). "Democratic legislator to introduce bill legalizing pot". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  12. Spivak, Cary (2015-08-16). "Menominee tribe prepares for vote on legalizing marijuana". Retrieved 2015-08-20.
  13. "Dane County State Legalization of Marijuana Referendum, Question 2 (April 2014)". April 4, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.