Pubdate: Sat, 25 May 2002
Source: Marshfield News-Herald, The (WI)
Copyright: 2002 Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
Author: Gary Storck
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Editor: While the legislature has promptly addressed the crisis of chronic 
wasting disease in deer by passing a law in special session that Gov. 
McCallum is reportedly ready to sign, it has turned a blind eye to the 
suffering of Wisconsinites chronically wasting away from illnesses like 
cancer and AIDS who could benefit by having legal access to medical marijuana.

And cancer and AIDS represent just two subsets of the many illnesses that 
respond favorably to marijuana's medicinal properties.

With the medical marijuana bill that was introduced in January bottled up 
in committee, thanks to the cynical manipulations of Assembly Speaker Scott 
Jensen, the chances of the legislature acting to protect sick and dying 
Wisconsinites from arrest and jail if they choose to employ this therapy 
are, at this point, just about nil.

Despite the fact a February 2002 Chamberlain Research Poll found over 80 
percent of Wisconsinites support the passage of a bill, only a few 
legislators have had the political courage to embrace the bill, with the 
bulk of legislators too worried about getting re-elected to do the right 
thing. "Silent Scott" McCallum, our erstwhile governor, has also been mute 
on this issue, like most other issues.

While it looks like Wisconsin patients will be forced to wait another year 
before the legislature takes up the issue again, there is a way to 
guarantee that medical marijuana legislation will receive serious 
consideration and that is by electing Ed Thompson governor. Thompson has 
been outspoken in support of legalizing this option since he began 
campaigning. While other candidates grudgingly give quiet support to 
medical marijuana, others like McCallum and Tom Barrett either have no 
position or a history of opposition.

With the state caught in a budget crisis and caucus scandal thanks to the 
failure of Democrats and Republicans to put partisan issues aside and do 
what is right for the state, it is time to send a strong message by 
electing Libertarian Ed Thompson to return the state of Wisconsin to 
government by the people, not special interests.

Gary Storck

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