Robin Vos: “Vukmir…is standing in the way of this life saving treatment"

Nov 04, 2018

For Immediate Release
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

REPORT: Vukmir Opposed Expanding “Life Saving” CBD Oil Treatment For Sick Wisconsinites

On Vukmir’s CBD oil opposition, even Republican Speaker Robin Vos slammed Vukmir for “standing in the way of this life saving treatment

MADISON — The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is today releasing a new report highlighting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir’s broad and consistent opposition to allowing patients to access medical marijuana and CBD oil treatments.

Vukmir’s legislative record is defined by her consistent record of opposition to expanding Wisconsinites’ health care coverageputting special interests over people, and blocking Wisconsinites’ access to a fuller range of treatment options.

Vukmir’s refusal to support sick Wisconsinites getting the treatments that they need is exemplified by her long and vocal opposition to expanding Wisconsinites’ access to CBD oil and medical marijuana treatments.

Hardline Medical Marijuana Opposition 

As chair of Wisconsin Assembly and Senate health committees during the 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 legislative sessions, Vukmir repeatedly blocked medical marijuana legislation. And as chairperson during those years, Vukmir refused to so much as hold a single public hearing or a committee vote on a single medical marijuana or CBD oil bill.

Vukmir has been grossly cynical about medical marijuana legalization efforts, cruelly attacking patient advocates as perpetuating a “ruse”and accusing pro-legalization legislators of “using people who are dying of cancer and who have other illnesses as [a] shield.” 

Vukmir has also been wildly inconsistent as to whether she considers medical marijuana and CBD oil legalization and access to be a state or a federal issue. In 2016, Vukmir said of CBD oil, “Regardless of what we do in Wisconsin, it remains illegal at the federal level.” But pressed upon medical marijuana and legalization in 2018, Vukmir insisted, “I firmly believe that this is an issue that should be settled at the state level.”

Steadfast Opposition to Letting Wisconsin Patients Access CBD Oil Treatments

While Vukmir in 2013 supported Assembly Bill 726—also known as Lydia’s Law—which legalized CBD oil possession (with physician or pharmacy approval) for the treatment of a seizure disorder, the measure proved to be so restrictive that Wisconsin families and physicians were unable to access CBD oil because the law did not legalize production or purchase of CBD oil.

And when lawmakers proposed a bipartisan fix to Lydia’s Law’s most restrictive elements in 2015, Vukmir opposed the legislation. At the time, Vukmir was broadly blamed for holding up the bipartisan fix, and Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos attacked Vukmir by name for “standing in the way of this life saving treatment.”

Later, Vukmir in 2017 supported Senate Bill 10, which legalized CBD oil possession for any medical condition, but—as with Lydia’s Law—the measure failed to address a number of issues relating to access, such that Wisconsinites were left without a way to legally obtain CBD oil. State lawmakers proposed an amendment to the measure to address those restrictions—but true to her record of standing in the way of patients’ accessing treatments that they need, Vukmir voted to table the fix.

As with her opposition to expanding coverage for oral chemotherapy and expanding mental health care and substance abuse treatment coverage, Vukmir has similarly stood in the way of Wisconsin patients getting the CBD oil and medical marijuana treatments that they need.