November 20, 2008
Green Bay Press Gazette: Editorial: Medical marijuana is worth study
Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Today, the Green Bay Press Gazette editorializes in favor of medical cannabis and calls for a statewide referendum. While a referendum would be one approach, it would delay relief rto Wisconsin patients who need it today, not next session or the following one. The best course for patients and their families is for state lawmakers to recognize their constituents are not that differernt than our neighbors in Michigan or in the other 12 states where it is legal. Prompt action by the state legislature this coming session is the only fair way to end this stalemate for patients who may not live to see a hypothetical referendum, and cannot move to Michigan or other states that protect patients using medical cannabis.
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette: click here
November 20, 2008
EDITORIAL: MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS WORTH STUDY
An interesting sidelight from Election Day 2008 is what happened up the road and over the pond in Michigan, where 63 percent of voters approved the removal of state penalties for registered patients who buy, grow or use small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes.
Michigan thus becomes the eighth state where a ballot initiative has OK'd the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Legislatures in four other states have enacted medical marijuana laws, so nearly a quarter of the country has moved in this direction.
Recreational use of marijuana remains illegal everywhere and we're not suggesting that law be changed.
On the other hand, most all of us know or have known someone whose suffering might have been alleviated from its purported medical qualities. The most-cited benefits of medicinal marijuana are as an anti-nauseant for cancer chemotherapy and to treat nausea and appetite loss in HIV/AIDS.
The Michigan campaign featured two faces of the struggle to legalize marijuana as a medicine, according to The Associated Press coverage of the initiative's success. Rochelle Lampkin of Detroit suffers from multiple sclerosis and experiences blindness from optic neuritis, and George Wagoner, a retired physician from Manistee, helped his wife of 51 years by procuring marijuana to ease her symptoms of chemotherapy.
It's foolish to equate these legitimate efforts to aid seriously ill patients with the plague of street drugs, but that's been precisely the federal government's reaction to the states that have passed such legislation.
Justice Department funds continue to be used to arrest and prosecute patients even where state laws permit access to physician-supervised medical marijuana. During his campaign President-elect Obama pledged to respect the will of the voters in those states; he should keep that promise.
With medical marijuana about to become legal just north of the border, perhaps it's time for Wisconsin to take a serious look. There is no need to rush to judgment, but lawmakers should investigate the idea by holding hearings to gauge public support.
It may even be a subject worthy of a statewide referendum.
Also: Capital Times: State debate: Medical marijuana should be considered in Wisconsin, the Green Bay Press Gazette says click here
Posted by Gary at November 20, 2008 09:33 AM
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