October 26, 2009
OPED: Sen. Jon Erpenbach D-WaunakeeTime to consider medical marijuana
Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, October 26, 2009
An OPED about the Jacki Rickert MMJ Act from the JRMMMA's Senate sponsor, Sen. Jon Erpenbach.
Source: Monroe Times
Pubdate: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Author: Sen. Jon Erpenbach D-Waunakee
SEN. JON ERPENBACH: TIME TO CONSIDER MEDICAL MARIJUANA
To see a loved one or friend in pain and to watch them struggle at the end of their life or from harsh treatments like chemotherapy is terrible. You watch the person you love disappear. To find peace and free them of pain is all that you hope for; for some people that relief could come as prescribed medical marijuana.
With all of the extraordinary advances of medicine and all of the life-saving techniques we have, sometimes relief can be as simple as marijuana - currently a regulated illegal drug in Wisconsin. I am co-authoring the Jackie Rickert Medical Marijuana Act this session in the hope that this medical option can be available to all Wisconsin patients who need it. Drafted based on the Michigan medical marijuana bill that passed by statewide referendum, this bill simply gives patients and their doctors an option to consider marijuana without fear of prosecution. The Michigan referendum passed in all 83 counties, with a 63 percent majority statewide.
This is an issue where the public has been far ahead of policy makers. Polling in Wisconsin has shown consistent support for medical marijuana, most recently reaching above 75 percent approval. In the seven states where medical marijuana was added as a ballot initiative, it passed in each state with a wide margin. As we work to address comprehensive health care reform, consideration should be given to the benefits of medical marijuana for patients with a debilitating medical condition.
The bill provides a medical necessity defense for marijuana-related prosecutions and property seizure if the patient has a valid prescription from their physician and an ID card from Department of Health Services. Conditions covered could include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and HIV, and diseases as determined by administrative rule. The bill also creates a maximum amount of marijuana a patient may have, establishing clear limits for both the patient and law enforcement. If someone who is prescribed marijuana commits a crime, like operating a vehicle under the influence, they cannot use the defense created in this bill; they still have to follow Wisconsin laws. Finally, the bill gives the state Department of Health the ability to create rules for a registry of people allowed to use medical marijuana and for the licensing and regulation of a nonprofit corporation to distribute marijuana.
Recently, President Obama said that the federal law enforcement will follow the laws of the states regarding medical marijuana. Currently, there are 13 states where medical marijuana is legal and another 14 states where legislation is pending. Clearly the public pendulum on this issue is in support. That support, however, is not the only reason why the Wisconsin Legislature should act to make medical marijuana legal; we should act because it is simply the right thing to do for patients in pain.
Our friends and family deserve all medicinal options available when they struggle with disease and the therapy we have created to kill disease. Please contact my office for additional information on the Jackie Rickert Medical Marijuana Act at (888) 549-0027 or (608) 266-6670 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, serves the 27th Senate District.
Posted by Gary at October 26, 2009 10:45 PM
What I would like to know as a farmer myself is, how do I begin the process of filing an application to get a license to grow?
Posted by: fattymattybrewing at October 27, 2009 09:21 PM
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