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Wisconsin Democrats urge GOP to hold referendum on MMJ

Democratic legislators in Wisconsin are pushing the GOP to let the public decide if the Badger State state should legalize medical cannabis.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, introduced companion bills that would legalize medical marijuana and, in the event that the legislation fails as it did last year, put a non-binding referendum before the state’s voters.

However, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R.) has vowed he’ll never support legalization under any circumstance. Republican governor Scott Walker also says he opposes it. It would be up to the GOP, who control both the Senate and Assembly, on whether to hold a hearing on the measure.

Regardless, Taylor and Erpenbach tried to drum up support for their bills at a news conference Monday, telling reporters that the state is failing sick people by not letting them access marijuana. They said Republican leaders should at least ask the public what it wants.

Neither Erpenbach nor Taylor advocated legalizing pot for recreational use.

Under the proposed legislation, cannabis would be available to patients with medical conditions registered with the Department of Health Services. Products would be available through state licensed dispensaries, and could possess up to 12 plants and three ounces of leaves or flowers.

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 28 states, along with the District of Columbia, and unincorporated territories Guam and Puerto Rico.