MADISON -- Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, will join with fellow Democrat
Mark Pocan of Madison to introduce a bill next week to allow Wisconsin
doctors to prescribe marijuana.

The legislation would be similar to that in the eight other states, which
have legalized the drug for pain and appetite disorders. Boyle said that
distribution would be tightly controlled and penalties would exist for
abusing the law.

The US Supreme Court heard arguments, last month in a case, which could
determine whether measures legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes can
take effect. Currently, the federal government from actually putting them
into practice has blocked the states, which have passed such laws.

Boyle said that he believes that those suffering from chronic pain from
illnesses like cancer and AIDS have the right to treatment, and that he has
known and heard from several people who insist that marijuana has been the
only effective treatment for their conditions.

"There's a huge medical block of evidence that indicates that medical
marijuana is, in some instances, the only resolution to pain associated
with chemotherapy, and AIDS patients indicate that it is a tremendous help
in stabilizing their digestive system," Boyle said during an interview in
his office on Wednesday.

"To deny patients the legitimate drug that could help to alleviate the
symptoms of a critical disease is unconscionable," he said.

Boyle, along with then Rep. Tammy Baldwin, introduced a similar bill in 1997.

He said the bill has a better chance of passage this time because the
political climate around the issue has changed a great deal in the last few
years. Ballot initiatives authorizing medicinal marijuana have passed by
large majorities in several states. Boyle said he is also encouraged by the
fact that the Republican chairman of the State Affairs Committee, Rick
Skindrud of Mount Horeb, has scheduled an informational hearing on
medicinal marijuana.

The hearing, at which the committee will hear testimony from invited
speakers on the issue, including law enforcement personnel and medical
experts, will take place in the Capitol on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Newshawk: Sledhead -
Pubdate: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
Source: The Daily Telegram (WI)
Copyright: 2001 The Daily Telegram
Address: 1226 Ogden Ave., Superior, WI 54880
Fax: (715) 394-9404
Author: Andrew Hinkel
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)