top of page
Search
  • Christopher D.

Breaking: Marijuana Set to Be Reclassified as Less Dangerous - What Are the Implications?


In a groundbreaking move, the federal government is considering reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This decision could have significant implications for Wisconsin, where both medical and recreational marijuana remain illegal.


For decades, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, a category reserved for substances deemed to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse, alongside drugs like heroin and LSD. However, the growing body of scientific evidence and the increasing number of states permitting medical and adult-use marijuana have challenged this outdated classification.


What Does Reclassification Mean for Wisconsin?

By reclassifying marijuana to a lower classification, such as Schedule III, the federal government would acknowledge its potential medicinal value and relatively safe therapeutic use under medical supervision. While this move alone would not legalize marijuana in Wisconsin, it could provide momentum for the state to reconsider its stance on marijuana legalization, potentially leading to the introduction of medical marijuana programs or even the decriminalization of adult-use marijuana.


While supporters of full legalization in Wisconsin acknowledge that a federal reclassification would not directly impact state laws, they believe it could add pressure on Republican state lawmakers who have been hesitant to embrace marijuana reform. Currently, Wisconsin remains an "island of prohibition" surrounded by neighboring states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.


State Senator Melissa Agard, a proponent of full legalization, expressed hope that the federal government's shift in policy, combined with potential changes in the state legislature's composition after the 2024 elections, could create an environment more conducive to addressing the will of the majority of Wisconsinites who support some form of marijuana legalization.


Opportunities for Bipartisan Compromise

Agard and other advocates argue that one of the primary arguments used by Republican lawmakers against marijuana reform has been the federal government's classification of the plant as a highly dangerous substance. With this potential barrier removed, there may be more opportunities for Democrats and Republicans to find common ground on issues such as medical marijuana or decriminalization.


In January 2023, Wisconsin Republicans introduced a bill that would have launched a highly restrictive, state-run medical marijuana program, but the proposal ultimately stalled due to disagreements within the party. A federal reclassification could breathe new life into such efforts, enabling lawmakers to craft a more comprehensive and patient-friendly medical marijuana framework.


The Path to Responsible Legalization

While medical marijuana legalization may be a more politically palatable first step, many advocates argue that full legalization – for both medical and recreational use – is the most effective approach for Wisconsin. Agard and others contend that responsible adult-use legalization, coupled with a robust regulatory framework, could generate substantial tax revenues for the state while protecting public health and safety.


A fiscal estimate from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue suggested that a 10% excise tax on dispensaries could generate nearly $65 million in revenue within three years of full legalization. These funds could be reinvested in vital public services, education, and substance abuse prevention programs.


The Case for Medical Marijuana

Regardless of the federal government's reclassification efforts, advocates in Wisconsin continue to emphasize the importance of providing safe and legal access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Marijuana has been shown to provide relief for a range of conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and the side effects of cancer treatment.


By obtaining a medical marijuana card or participating in a state-regulated program, patients and caregivers can access these potentially life-changing treatments while ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations. This legal protection is crucial for those seeking alternative treatment options without fear of legal repercussions.


As the landscape surrounding marijuana continues to evolve at both the state and federal levels, Wisconsin residents can play an active role in shaping the future of marijuana policy within the state. By staying informed, engaging with elected representatives, and supporting advocacy organizations, they can help ensure that the state's approach to this complex issue prioritizes public health, safety, and the well-being of all Wisconsinites.


Summary

While the potential reclassification of marijuana represents a significant step forward in recognizing its medicinal value and potential therapeutic benefits, it is important to recognize that more work remains to be done. Advocates and policymakers in Wisconsin and nationwide continue to push for comprehensive marijuana reform, including the potential legalization and regulation of adult-use marijuana, as well as the expungement of non-violent marijuana-related offenses.


As the federal government grapples with this complex issue, Wisconsin residents can play an active role in shaping the future of marijuana policy by staying informed, engaging with their elected representatives, and supporting organizations working towards equitable and sensible marijuana laws.


By embracing a science-based approach and prioritizing public health and safety, Wisconsin can navigate this evolving landscape and establish a responsible and effective approach to marijuana that serves the needs of its residents while capitalizing on the economic opportunities presented by this burgeoning industry.


Get Ready for Medical Marijuana in Wisconsin

Although medical marijuana is not yet legal in the State of Wisconsin, it will be soon! We are hopeful that progress will be made this upcoming session. In the meantime, contact your lawmakers and let them know you want medical marijuana in Wisconsin to help the process along!


Marijuana is a natural alternative medicine that has been in use for thousands of years for a variety of medical conditions and their symptoms. If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, there is a good chance you will qualify for your medical card.


You should be ready for medical marijuana to come to Wisconsin. In order to do this, you can reserve an appointment with us today and we will schedule an appointment for you just as soon as the state’s medical program becomes operational.


You’ll meet with your new doctor virtually, using your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a telemedicine appointment. Together you’ll discuss your conditions, whether you qualify for a Wisconsin Marijuana Card, and what medical marijuana might be able to do for you, all without even leaving your home! And you’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!


In the meantime, check back to our blogs and subscribe to our newsletter for updates on Wisconsin’s program! It is so important to stay informed on this issue if you are hoping to get your medical card as soon as possible.


The wait is almost over! We hope to see you soon!

3 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page