Pubdate: Tue, 2 Feb 2010
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
Copyright: 2010 The Journal Times
Author: Keith R. Deschler


The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act is currently being debated in
our state Legislature. It would enable licensed physicians to
prescribe small amounts of marijuana to be used by severely ill
patients to treat certain diseases and to manage pain. It has strict
penalties for recreational use of marijuana, as well as for sale and
usage of the drug by minors.

Opponents of the act claim that medicinal use of marijuana is
unnecessary, since there are synthetic drugs with THC (the medicinal
component of the cannabis plant). They are obviously not familiar with
Steve Kubby, the Libertarian activist who has used medical marijuana
for more than 30 years to successfully treat his adrenal cancer. He
was given Marinol (a THC synthetic), while in prison for drug
possession in California. The Marinol nearly gave him a fatal heart
attack, along with nausea and loss of appetite. Widespread public
outcry over Kubby's bad treatment in prison led to his release.

Why should seriously ill patients be denied access to natural
substances that have not only controlled pain and suffering, but have
actually prolonged the lives of thousands of people for years? Why
should physicians be prohibited from giving patients medicines that
they know are safe and effective?

I urge all local legislators to support the Jacki Rickert Act, which
has consistently received 80 percent approval in public opinion polls.

Keith R. Deschler

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