Pubdate: Sat, 24 May 2008
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2008 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


Dear Editor: Several weeks ago the Cap Times editorialized in support of
cannabis (marijuana) decriminalization and cited federal legislation, HR
5843, that was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. You also noted
you hoped that Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, would become a co-sponsor.

On May 20, Rep. Baldwin was officially listed as the bill's third
co-sponsor. Let's hope Tammy's courage to lead on this issue inspires
her colleagues to join her in signing on. Baldwin also co-sponsored HR
5842, which would protect medical cannabis patients acting legally
under state laws. Tammy has been a reliable supporter throughout her
career of medical cannabis patients and families.

While protecting patients has a fair amount of support, there is a
growing consensus in Congress that removing criminal penalties for
responsible personal cannabis use also makes sense. In addition to the
Frank bill in the House, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., expressed
support for cannabis decriminalization while running for the Democratic
presidential nomination this year. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., has written in
his new book, "A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America,"
that "the time has come to stop locking up people for mere possession
and use of marijuana."

Today, more than ever, cannabis decriminalization makes perfect sense.
It's time to put reefer madness behind us and reap the myriad benefits
the cannabis plant offers society.

Gary Storck

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