Pubdate: Thu, 13 Apr 2000
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Copyright: 2000, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Contact:  414-224-8280
Author: Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff
Note: Journal Sentinel correspondent Keith Edwards contributed to this report.


She Has Admitted Using Marijuana To Relieve Pain, Give Her An Appetite

Drug charges will not be filed against a disabled Mondovi woman who said 
she smokes marijuana for medicinal purposes, an official said Wednesday.

Buffalo County District Attorney James Duvall declined to file charges 
against Jacki Rickert after police confiscated a small amount of marijuana 
from her home last month.

"I will not file charges because of the particularly unusual facts of the 
case," said Duvall, who declined to comment further.

Rickert, 48, weighs 98 pounds and uses a wheelchair because of debilitating 
illnesses. She admitted using marijuana to relieve chronic pain and to give 
her an appetite.

When Mondovi police showed up at her home in March to investigate a theft 
complaint, an officer asked Rickert if she had marijuana in her house. When 
Rickert told them she did, police got a search warrant and confiscated 
marijuana and other items from her home.

Rickert could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But her daughter said 
she was happy to learn from a reporter that charges would not be filed 
against her mother.

"I was hoping for this," said Tammy Rickert, 28. "Mondovi is a very small 
area and my mom is a very quiet person, never harmed anybody. She's kind of 
a church mouse.

"I'm extremely happy. I think they realized that if they put my mom in jail 
it would kill her," she said.

Rickert suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, 
and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. She has lost much of her muscle and fatty 
tissue, and her joints dislocate easily.

She lives on her own but relies on caregivers for help. Rickert said in 
March she was allowed to participate in a federal program where the 
government issued marijuana cigarettes for medicinal purposes. But the 
program folded before she received government-supplied marijuana, Rickert said.
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