Wisconsin Legislature to Hold Groundbreaking Joint Public Hearing to Consider Medical Marijuana Bill on Tuesday, December 15 at 10 a.m.

Press Release December 9, 2009
Media Contact

Tommy McDonald at or Tony Newman at 646-335-5384

The Wisconsin State Legislature on Tuesday will take up consideration of a bill that would provide legal access to medical marijuana in the state. At the joint hearing of the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly — to be held at 10 a.m. at the Capitol in room 412E — legislators will hear testimony from a range of leaders on the issue, including WI native and nationally recognized legal expert on medical marijuana Dan Abrahamson.

If passed, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Bill would make Wisconsin the 14th state to allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana. Consideration of the bill comes on the heels of an announcement by the Obama administration in October that federal drug agents would no longer arrest or prosecute medical marijuana patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that have approved the medicine, as long as they are following their state’s medical marijuana laws. The proposed bill has already received editorial support from the Wisconsin State Journal, the Appleton Post Crescent and Wausau Daily Herald.

Abrahamson, a Wisconsin native and member of the Wisconsin State Bar, helped litigate the leading medical marijuana cases in state and federal courts and helped draft many state and local medical marijuana laws and regulations, including in New Mexico, California, Maryland and New York. He currently serves as director of Legal Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, is an active litigator in state and federal courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and is co-author of several state and local legislative initiatives.

Abrahamson is a 2001 recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse award in recognition of his efforts to expand access to drug treatment while reducing the rate and length of incarceration for drug law offenders. Mr. Abrahamson has taught courses on criminal justice and capital punishment at Yale University, Fisk University, and Hastings College of the Law, and currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley, where he teaches an upper-level seminar on the Social and Legal Implications of the War on Drugs.

He graduated from Madison West High School, received his B.A. from Yale University, his M.A. from Oxford University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

He is available to discuss Wisconsin’s proposed bill as well as other legal issues around drug policy.

What: Joint Public Hearing on Wisconsin Medical Marijuana Bill

When: Tuesday, December 15, 10 a.m.

Where: State Capitol, Rm. 412E

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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