Pubdate: Tue, 23 Mar 2004
Source: Badger Herald (Edu, Madison,  WI)
Copyright: 2004 Badger Herald
Author: Lindsay Mosher, City Reporter
Cited: Is My Medicine Legal YET?
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


The use of marijuana is illegal in the United States, but for victims
of glaucoma, marijuana significantly aids in slowing the progression
of vision loss.

Glaucoma victim Gary Storck began to lose his eyesight as a young
child. His doctors prescribed several conventional medications that
were unsuccessful in recovering his vision. In 1972, Storck smoked
marijuana before going to see his doctors, and his eye pressure was no
longer elevated.

Storck is a member of the Drug Police Task Force and Is My Medicine
Legal Yet? (IMMLY), a nonprofit medical-marijuana advocacy group based
in Mondovi, Wis., and Madison.

Storck and other users of prescribed marijuana went to the City
Council meeting March 2 in hopes of setting aside a week to promote
marijuana awareness in Madison. The council voted to recognize March
14-21 as Madison Marijuana Medical Awareness Week.

Ald. Judy Olson, District 6, and seven other alders backed the
resolution, which obliged citizens of Madison to observe appropriate
programs and activities.

"Marijuana had the potential to save my eyesight," Storck

Marijuana also helped Storck's friend, IMMLY founder Jacki

"I've tried just about everything in the [Physician's Desk Reference],
according to my physician," Rickert said. "I was either allergic or it
did not work."

Storck explained last week's activities were important because they
raised community awareness. He said most people do not advocate
medical marijuana until they themselves are faced with a disease that
can be lessened by marijuana.

"In the face of uncontrollable suffering, marijuana can be a godsend,"
he said.

According to Storck, marijuana can help alter the progression of
epilepsy, AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

Storck explained that inhaling marijuana through smoke or vapor is
best because it allows people to control the dosage.

"In conjunction with my other pills, I can take a lot less medicine,"
Rickert said, referring to her marijuana use.

Storck said although the use of marijuana for medical reasons is
legal, glaucoma sufferers are forced to buy the substance on the black
market because pharmacies in Wisconsin do not distribute it.

A benefit was held Friday at the Cardinal Bar for IMMLY. The
University of Wisconsin Green Progressive Alliance sponsored a film
festival and discussion panel at Memorial Union Sunday.

"We are taking a step toward safe and legal access," Storck said. "I
don't seek to break the law, but I have no other choice."

Storck said he felt Madison Marijuana Medical Awareness Week went

"It showed Madison still has commitment to compassion," he said. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake