Wisconsin's Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA) returned as the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act (JRMCA) at a Thursday press conference announcing the introduction in the Capitol's Assembly Parlor this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.
The sponsors of the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act, Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) both spoke about their bill. Sen. Erpenbach spoke of the urgent need for medical cannabis in Wisconsin, citing the tenacity of patient-advocates Gary Storck and Jacki Rickert of Is My Medicine Legal YET? (IMMY), who both spoke later.
Rep. Taylor is the new Assembly lead sponsor after longtime sponsor Mark Pocan was elected to Congress in Nov. 2012. The second lead Assembly sponsor, Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau), also spoke in support.
Jacki Rickert, who was unable to attend last session's press conference, spoke about her long fight for medical cannabis.
Preceding Jacki was her IMMLY colleague, Gary Storck, who noted that Oct. 3 was the 41st anniversary of the day he first tried medical cannabis to treat congenital glaucoma.
"41 years ago today on Oct. 3, 1972, I decided to begin my own study. I smoked some cannabis before heading off for one of my regular glaucoma checkups. My doctor was pleasantly surprised to find that my usually greatly elevated eye pressures were normal that day." -- Gary Storck
The Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act is the latest version of legislation that would legalize the medical use of cannabis in Wisconsin.
The JRMCA does not yet have a bill number as it is circulated for cosponsors. The Marijuana Policy Project has created a link to write state lawmakers and ask their support: here.
Changes in the new Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act include the following:
1) Change the definition of "Usable cannabis" to reflect the following: a. The flowers of the cannabis plant and any mixture or preparation thereof. Specifically, this does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant. It does not include the weight of any non-cannabis ingredients combined with cannabis, including ingredients added to prepare a topical administration, food, or drink.
2) Allow registry cards to be good for up to 2 years, rather than l year as in the previous draft.
3) Add protections for concentrates, "medibles" (cannabis edibles), tinctures, salves, lotions and other cannabis products.
4) Require dispensaries to only sell products that have been tested for mold, fungus and pesticides.
5) Require the department to promulgate rules to protect caregivers and create guidelines for care as it pertains to obtaining and distributing medical cannabis to individuals under their care.
6) To require no prohibition on sun grown cannabis
7) Add legal protections for labs testing for cannabinoid content/mold/fungus/pesticides
Despite the overwhelming public support for medical cannabis, the JRMCA faces an uphill struggle in a GOP-majority legislature that has shown no appetite for carrying out the will of their constituents regarding the medical use of cannabis in Wisconsin.