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Medical Marijuana Law Deserves Consideration

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
For Wisconsin residents suffering from cancer, AIDS and other diseases filled with pain and nausea, relief could come through puffs of a marijuana joint, due to the work of a few progressive-thinking lawmakers. But this will come to fruition only if other legislators can get past the stigma and fear of a drug that dates back before Nancy Reagan made her famous "Just Say No" pronouncement.

We're not talking about wholesale use of the drug, but rather allowing very small amounts for the grandmother suffering in hospice or the stage 4 cancer patient who has no appetite to get the nourishment he needs. Patients have reported that other drugs don't work as effectively as cannabis in alleviating nausea and pain associated with chronic and terminal illnesses. But if they use it, they face the same criminal charges as a recreational user.

The state Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, Insurance and Job Creation heard testimony last week both for and against medicinal marijuana. Gary Storck, director of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he hopes the hearing will lead to the drafting of medical marijuana legislation in the Senate.

Earlier this fall, Reps. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, and Mark Pocan, D-Madison, introduced a bill that protects medicinal marijuana users - -- again with very small amounts of the drug for personal use only - --from criminal prosecution.

While we understand the fear that drug dealers would abuse such a law, there must be a way to make the drug legally available to the chronically and terminally ill via their doctors. After all, doctors prescribe legal painkillers every day. The American Medical Association does not support marijuana use currently, but has encouraged further studies on its effectiveness in very ill patients.

Wisconsin legislators should look at ways to draft a responsible, comprehensive law that provides a humane alternative for people who are enduring great pain and suffering.

Source: Post-Crescent, The (Appleton, WI)
Copyright: 2007 The Post-Crescent
Contact: Appleton Post-Crescent: Your Fox Cities News Source - Contact Us
Website: Appleton Post-Crescent: Your Fox Cities News Source
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