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Cannabis oil bill cruises through state Senate committee

A group of lawmakers has given the thumbs-up to a bill aimed at allowing the possession of cannabis oil, a derivative of marijuana used to treat children with seizures.

Members of the state Senate’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety approved the bill Thursday on a 4-0 vote. State Sen. Duey Strobel, R-Saukville, was excused from the vote.

If approved by the full Legislature, the bill would change state law to allow people to possess cannabis oil as long as they have a certification showing the substance is being used to treat a medical condition. The certification must also be current and have been issued in the last year.

Federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana for any reason.

State Senator Fred Risser, D-Madison, questioned before his vote Thursday whether lawmakers were dealing with policies that would be better left to the federal government.

“Quite frankly, the solution has to be on a national level,” he said.

Van Wanggaard, an author of the bill, said he agreed but argued the legislation would bring peace of mind to parents because it would mean they would no longer have to worry about state law-enforcement officials coming into their homes.

In the Legislature’s last session, the state Assembly had passed a bill that would have made it easier for parents to obtain cannabis oil, only to see the proposal fail in the Senate.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report

About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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