Pubdate: 20 Dec 2007
Source: Wisconsin State Journal ( WI )
Copyright: 2007 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Details: sj
Author: Gary Storck


More pain clinics alone are not the answer to skyrocketing chronic pain
rates. Scientific studies and clinical observations have long
established marijuana as an effective treatment for pain. Cannabis has
shown special efficacy in treating conditions like migraine and nerve
pain that often do not respond to conventional medications and treatments.

Current law deprives health care professionals of this tool when
compassion demands patients have legal access. Meanwhile, state
legislation that would legalize this option, AB 550, the Jacki Rickert
Medical Marijuana Act, remains stalled in the Assembly 's Health and
Health Care Reform committees, where the chairwoman, Rep. Leah Vukmir,
R-Wauwatosa, refuses to hold a hearing.

Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch should pull AB 550 from Vukmir 's
committee and send it to the Assembly Public Health committee, whose
chairman, Rep. J.A. Hines, R-Oxford, has pledged to hold a hearing.

An influx of veterans is swelling the ranks of Wisconsinites already
struggling with pain and medical issues. Is the Legislature going to let
them down, too? Gov. Jim Doyle indicated he would support a medical
cannabis bill during his first campaign for governor in 2002.

Without quick action from the governor and legislative leaders, it
appears Wisconsin families who need legal access to medical marijuana
will not even see it this session.

Gary Storck, Madison
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake