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Medical marijuana gaining bipartisan support in Wisconsin; local businesses prepare for legislationSubmitted: 01/03/2020
Peter Dubois
Peter Dubois
Reporter/Anchor
pdubois@wjfw.com

Medical marijuana gaining bipartisan support in Wisconsin; local businesses prepare for legislation
WISCONSIN - 2020 marked the start of recreational marijuana sales in Illinois, and the second year of legal weed in Michigan.

Meanwhile, the drug is still illegal in the Badger State, despite support from a majority of its residents.

A recent push for new marijuana laws in Wisconsin could impact local businesses.

Ken Majeski owns The CBD Store in Tomahawk. He sells products derived from marijuana, but they have no psychoactive properties. CBD doesn't get you high, but Majeski says it has some health benefits.

"People use it for back pain, sciatica, headaches, menstrual cramps," said Majeski. "I use it myself for tendonitis." 


Majeski is a strong supporter of medical marijuana legalization.

"I don't see much difference between alcohol and marijuana," said Majeski.

He says Wisconsin is behind the curve on the controversial issue.

"We passed medical marijuana referendums by a huge margin," said Majeski. "If that doesn't put pressure on our legislators, I'm not sure having states nearby having it legal will put pressure on them."

However, Wisconsin has seen a push for marijuana legislation on both sides of the political aisle. Last month, Republican State Representative Mary Felzkowski introduced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana for people with specific illnesses and conditions.

"I'm a firm believer in it," said Rep. Felzkowski. "I went through a bad bout of cancer a few years ago, and I would have loved to have had it for some of the afflictions that I had."

Although the bill was shut down, Felzkowski says it's a step in the right direction.

"We would really like to get a committee hearing and start the conversation because there's a lot of misinformation out there," said Rep. Felzkowski.

If medical marijuana were to become legal in Wisconsin, only so many people would be allowed to sell it based on demand. Majeski says he will be one of the first to apply for a license to sell medical marijuana if it ever becomes legal.

"I'm not sure a store like mine could exist and be viable as a CBD only store in a state that has medical marijuana," said Majeski.

The DEA lists marijuana as a schedule one drug, among the likes of heroin and LSD. While representative Felzkowski doesn't support the legalization of recreational marijuana, she thinks it should be decriminalized at the federal level.

"Fines and penalties are one thing, but to make it a felony or misdemeanor, I struggle with that," said Felzkowski.

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30 years ago, the Minocqua chain of lakes had a sustainable population of walleyes; people could fish freely.

But when the population started to fall in the mid-1990's, artificial management became the only option to help restore the numbers.

Oneida County Fisheries Management Biologist Zach Woiak remembers the time when the walleye's population was all due to their natural way of life.

"Historically the Minocqua chain has had a very good walleye fishery that was all based on natural reproduction, so there was no stocking needed," said Woiak.

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Woiak says the majority of anglers sided with the stakeholders.

"They were on board with it. We had a lot of public meetings and got a lot of public input. We made sure that all the stakeholders were on board. It's been pretty good," he said.

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