Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate stopped an effort by Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) to force a vote on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. 

The Senate took up a bill Tuesday that would increase penalties for a person who uses a butane torch to extract resin from a cannabis plant. Agard introduced an amendment to the bill that, instead of making penalties harsher, would have completely legalized all uses of cannabis. 

Agard said she was introducing the amendment because if the goal of the bill is to increase public safety, then increased criminalization is not the direction to go — especially since most of Wisconsin’s neighboring states have legalized either medicinal or recreational use. 

Republicans in the Senate killed Agard’s effort by voting that the amendment was out of order and not “germane” to the initial bill. 

The original bill, without Agard’s amendment, passed on a 20-12 party line vote.

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