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LRB-3544/1
CMH:wlj:jf
2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
January 9, 2012 - Introduced by Senators Erpenbach and Taylor, cosponsored by
Representatives Pocan, Berceau, Bewley, E. Coggs, Danou, Grigsby, Kessler,
Pasch, Pope-Roberts, Roys, C. Taylor, Toles
and Zepnick. Referred to
Committee on Health.
SB371,2,2 1An Act to renumber subchapter IV of chapter 50 [precedes 50.90]; to renumber
2and amend
59.54 (25), 961.55 (8), 968.19 and 968.20 (1); to amend 20.435 (6)
3(jm), 50.56 (3), 59.54 (25m), 66.0107 (1) (bm), 66.0107 (1) (bp), 146.40 (1) (bo),
4146.81 (1) (L), 146.997 (1) (d) 18., 149.14 (3) (nm), 173.12 (1m), 289.33 (3) (d),
5349.02 (2) (b) 4., 767.41 (5) (am) (intro.), 767.451 (5m) (a) (intro.), 961.555 (2)
6(a), 961.56 (1) and 968.20 (3) (a) and (b); and to create 20.435 (1) (gq), 20.435
7(1) (jm), subchapter IV of chapter 50 [precedes 50.60], 59.54 (25) (b) 2., 59.54
8(25) (b) 3., 146.44, 767.41 (5) (d), 767.451 (5m) (d), 961.01 (5m), 961.01 (11v),
9961.01 (12v), 961.01 (14c), 961.01 (14g), 961.01 (17k), 961.01 (19m), 961.01
10(20hm), 961.01 (20ht), 961.01 (20t), 961.01 (21f), 961.01 (21t), 961.436, 961.55
11(8) (b), 961.55 (8) (c), 961.55 (8) (d), 961.555 (2) (e), 961.555 (2m), 961.5755,
12968.072, 968.12 (5), 968.19 (2), 968.20 (1d) and 968.20 (1j) of the statutes;
13relating to: medical use of marijuana, the regulation of marijuana distribution

1organizations, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, making
2appropriations, and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current prohibitions and penalties
Current law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and delivery of marijuana
(also known as tetrahydrocannabinols) and the possession of marijuana with intent
to manufacture, distribute, or deliver it. A violation of these prohibitions is a felony,
and the penalties depend on the amount of marijuana involved. If the crime involves
200 grams or less or four or fewer marijuana plants, the person may be fined up to
$10,000, sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to three years and six months,
or both. If the crime involves more than 200 grams but not more than 1,000 grams,
or more than four plants but not more than 20 plants, the person may be fined up to
$10,000, sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to six years, or both. If the crime
involves more than 1,000 grams but not more than 2,500 grams, or more than 20
plants but not more than 50 plants, the person may be fined up to $25,000, sentenced
to a term of imprisonment of up to ten years, or both. If the crime involves more than
2,500 grams but not more than 10,000 grams, or more than 50 plants but not more
than 200 plants, the person may be fined up to $25,000, sentenced to a term of
imprisonment of up to 12 years and 6 months, or both. If the crime involves more
than 10,000 grams or more than 200 plants, the person may be fined up to $50,000,
sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years, or both.
Current law also prohibits a person from possessing or attempting to possess
marijuana. A person who violates this prohibition and who has no prior drug
convictions is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than $1,000,
sentenced to the county jail for up to six months, or both. For a second or subsequent
offense, a person is guilty of a Class I felony.
Current law also contains certain prohibitions regarding drug paraphernalia,
which includes equipment, products, and materials used to produce, distribute, and
use controlled substances, including marijuana. Under current law, a person who
uses drug paraphernalia or who possesses it with the primary intent to produce,
distribute, or use a controlled substance, other than methamphetamine, unlawfully
is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not
more than 30 days, or both. A person who delivers drug paraphernalia, possesses it
with intent to deliver it, or manufactures it with intent to deliver it, knowing that
it will be primarily used to produce, distribute, or use a controlled substance, other
than methamphetamine, unlawfully may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned
for not more than 90 days, or both.
Medical necessity defense and immunity from arrest and prosecution
This bill establishes a medical necessity defense to marijuana-related
prosecutions and forfeiture actions. A person having or undergoing a debilitating
medical condition or treatment (qualifying patient) may invoke this defense. A
debilitating medical condition or treatment means any of the following: 1) cancer,

glaucoma, AIDS, a positive HIV test, Crohn's disease, a Hepatitis C virus infection,
Alzheimer's disease, Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, nail patella syndrome,
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or the treatment of these
conditions; 2) a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or the treatment
of such a disease or condition, that causes wasting away, severe pain, severe nausea,
seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms; or 3) any other medical condition
or treatment for a medical condition designated as a debilitating medical condition
or treatment in rules promulgated by the Department of Health Services (DHS).
A qualifying patient may invoke this defense if he or she acquires, possesses,
cultivates, transports, or uses marijuana to alleviate the symptoms or effects of his
or her debilitating medical condition or treatment, but only if no more than the
maximum authorized amount of marijuana (12 marijuana plants and three ounces
of marijuana leaves or flowers) is involved. A person is presumed to have this defense
if he or she has obtained a valid registry identification card from DHS or a valid
out-of-state registry identification card or has a written certification from his or her
physician documenting that he or she has or is undergoing a debilitating medical
condition or treatment and that the potential benefits of using marijuana outweigh
the health risks involved.
The bill also prohibits the arrest or prosecution of a qualifying patient who
acquires, possesses, cultivates, transports, or uses marijuana to alleviate the
symptoms or effects of his or her debilitating medical condition or treatment if the
person possesses a valid registry identification card, a valid out-of-state registry
identification card, or a written certification and if no more than the maximum
authorized amount of marijuana is involved. In addition, the bill prohibits the arrest
or prosecution of or the imposition of any penalty on a physician who provides a
written certification to a person in good faith.
The defense provided under the bill and the prohibition on arrest and
prosecution contained in the bill do not apply if the person possesses or attempts to
possess marijuana and if: 1) while under the influence of marijuana, the person
drives or operates a motor vehicle; 2) while under the influence of marijuana, the
person operates heavy machinery or engages in any other conduct that endangers
the health or well-being of another person; or 3) the person smokes marijuana on a
bus, at his or her workplace, on school premises, in a correctional facility or jail, at
a public park, beach, or recreation center, or at a youth center. In addition, if the
putative qualifying patient is under 18 years of age, the defense provided under the
bill and the prohibition on arrest and prosecution contained in the bill apply only if
the person's parent, guardian, or legal custodian agrees to serve as a primary
caregiver for the person. The bill defines a primary caregiver as a person who is at
least 18 years old and who has agreed to be responsible for managing a qualifying
patient's medical use of marijuana.
The defense provided under the bill and the prohibition on arrest and
prosecution contained in the bill apply also to a primary caregiver for any qualifying
patient, if the primary caregiver acquires, possesses, cultivates, transfers, or
transports marijuana to facilitate the qualifying patient's medical use of it. The
defense and the prohibition apply to the primary caregiver only if it is not practicable

for the qualifying patient to acquire, possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana
independently or if the qualifying patient is under 18. The defense and the
prohibition apply also to offenses involving drug paraphernalia if the qualifying
patient uses the drug paraphernalia for the medical use of marijuana.
Registry and distribution centers for medical users of marijuana
The bill requires DHS to establish a registry for medical users of marijuana.
Under the bill, a person claiming to be a qualifying patient may apply for a registry
identification card by submitting to DHS a signed application, accompanied by a
written certification and a registration fee of not more than $150. DHS must verify
the information and issue the person a registry identification card. A qualifying
patient and one of his or her primary caregivers may jointly apply for a registry
identification card for the primary caregiver. DHS may not disclose that it has issued
to a person a registry identification card, or information from an application for one,
except to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of verifying that a person
possesses a valid registry identification card. A registry identification card is
generally valid for one year and may be renewed. This bill also requires DHS to
promulgate a rule listing other jurisdictions that allow the medical use of marijuana
by a visiting qualifying patient or allow a person to assist with a visiting qualifying
patient's medical use of marijuana. Under this bill, documents issued by these
entities identifying a person as a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, or equivalent
are treated the same as registry identification cards issued by DHS.
The bill requires DHS to license and regulate nonprofit corporations, known as
compassion centers, that distribute or deliver marijuana or drug paraphernalia or
possess or manufacture marijuana or drug paraphernalia with the intent to deliver
or distribute to facilitate the medical use of marijuana. This bill prohibits
compassion centers from being located within 500 feet of a school, prohibits a
compassion center from distributing to a qualifying patient more than a maximum
amount of marijuana, and prohibits an organization from possessing a quantity that
exceeds, by an amount determined by DHS, the total maximum amount of marijuana
of all of the qualifying patients it serves. An applicant for a license must pay an
initial application fee of $250, and a compassion center must pay an annual fee of
$5,000.
Effect on federal law
This bill changes state law regarding marijuana. It does not affect federal law,
which generally prohibits persons from manufacturing, delivering, or possessing
marijuana and applies to both intrastate and interstate violations.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
report concerning the proposed penalty and the costs or savings that are likely to
result if the bill is enacted.

For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB371, s. 1 1Section 1. 20.435 (1) (gq) of the statutes is created to read:
SB371,5,42 20.435 (1) (gq) Medical marijuana registry. All moneys received from
3applicants, as defined in s. 146.44 (1) (a), as fees under s. 146.44 (2) (a) 4., for the
4purposes of the Medical Marijuana Registry Program under s. 146.44.
SB371, s. 2 5Section 2. 20.435 (1) (jm) of the statutes is created to read:
SB371,5,86 20.435 (1) (jm) Licensing and support services for compassion centers. All
7moneys received under s. 50.64 to regulate and license compassion centers under
8subch. IV of ch. 50.
SB371, s. 3 9Section 3. 20.435 (6) (jm) of the statutes, as affected by 2011 Wisconsin Act 32,
10is amended to read:
SB371,6,611 20.435 (6) (jm) Licensing and support services. The amounts in the schedule
12for the purposes specified in ss. 48.685 (2) (am) and (b) 1., (3) (a), (am), (b), and (bm),
13and (5) (a), 49.45 (47), 50.02 (2), 50.025, 50.065 (2) (am) and (b) 1., (3) (a) and (b), and
14(5), 50.13, 50.135, 50.36 (2), 50.49 (2) (b), 50.495, 50.52 (2) (a), 50.57, 50.981, and
15146.40 (4r) (b) and (er), and subch. IV V of ch. 50 and to conduct health facilities plan
16and rule development activities, for accrediting nursing homes, convalescent homes,
17and homes for the aged, to conduct capital construction and remodeling plan reviews
18under ss. 50.02 (2) (b) and 50.36 (2), and for the costs of inspecting, licensing or
19certifying, and approving facilities, issuing permits, and providing technical
20assistance, that are not specified under any other paragraph in this subsection. All
21moneys received under ss. 48.685 (8), 49.45 (42) (c), 49.45 (47) (c), 50.02 (2), 50.025,

150.065 (8), 50.13, 50.36 (2), 50.49 (2) (b), 50.495, 50.52 (2) (a), 50.57, 50.93 (1) (c), and
250.981, all moneys received from fees for the costs of inspecting, licensing or
3certifying, and approving facilities, issuing permits, and providing technical
4assistance, that are not specified under any other paragraph in this subsection, and
5all moneys received under s. 50.135 (2) shall be credited to this appropriation
6account.
SB371, s. 4 7Section 4. 50.56 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB371,6,118 50.56 (3) Notwithstanding sub. (2), insofar as a conflict exists between this
9subchapter, or the rules promulgated under this subchapter, and subch. I, II or IV
10V, or the rules promulgated under subch. I, II or IV V, the provisions of this
11subchapter and the rules promulgated under this subchapter control.
SB371, s. 5 12Section 5. Subchapter IV of chapter 50 [precedes 50.60] of the statutes is
13created to read:
SB371,6,1414 CHAPTER 50
SB371,6,1515 SUBCHAPTER IV
SB371,6,1616 Distribution Centers
SB371,6,17 1750.60 Definitions. In this subchapter:
SB371,6,19 18(1) "Compassion center" means a licensed organization that grows and
19distributes marijuana for the medical use of tetrahydrocannabinols.
SB371,6,20 20(2) "Maximum authorized amount" has the meaning given in s. 961.01 (14c).
SB371,6,22 21(3) "Medical use of tetrahydrocannabinols" has the meaning given in s. 961.01
22(14g).
SB371,6,23 23(4) "Qualifying patient" has the meaning given in s. 961.01 (20hm).
SB371,6,24 24(5) "Registry identification card" has the meaning given in s. 146.44 (1) (g).
SB371,6,25 25(6) "Treatment team" has the meaning given in s. 961.01 (20t).
SB371,7,1
1(7) "Usable marijuana" has the meaning given in s. 961.01 (21f).
SB371,7,2 2(8) "Written certification" has the meaning given in s. 961.01 (21t).
SB371,7,4 350.61 Departmental powers and duties. The department shall provide
4licensing, regulation, record keeping, and security for compassion centers.
SB371,7,7 550.62 Licensing. The department shall issue licenses to operate as a
6compassion center and shall decide which and how many applicants for a license
7receive a license based on all of the following:
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