Pubdate: Thu, 17 May 2001
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2001 The Capital Times


Monday's Supreme Court decision to uphold federal laws criminalizing 
medical marijuana use was a painful setback for advocates of reasonable, 
controlled and compassionate use of the drug. It contradicted the 
consciences of voters and legislators in the nine states that already have 
laws allowing marijuana use for those with serious medical conditions.

Fortunately, Wisconsin may soon join those enlightened states. Two state 
legislators, Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, 
are set to introduce a bill to allow doctors in Wisconsin to give patients 
with serious illnesses - such as AIDS or cancer - special certificates 
allowing them to use marijuana. The bill that Boyle and Pocan hope to pass 
was modeled after the law that was enacted by legislators in Hawaii, the 
only state so far where a medical marijuana bill was implemented by a 
legislature rather than through ballot initiatives OK'd by voters.

Pocan said of the ruling, "I think it's unfortunate the Supreme Court used 
faulty logic, following along with the drug war, rather than the logic 
we've been using, which is that this is a health care issue. It can help 
people with wasting conditions or glaucoma. It's useful for some patients 
who can't keep down a pill but can utilize a smoked drug."

State Rep. Rick Skindrud, R-Mount Horeb, is among those who disagree with 
the Supreme Court's ruling. In the face of the court ruling, he remarked 
that "this might prove that the people in Washington should get off their 
butts and rewrite the laws."

We hope Skindrud will take the lead by accepting Pocan's offer to be the 
state bill's chief sponsor.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens