Pubdate: Mon, 21 Apr 2014
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2014 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


Dear Editor: It was good to see Gov. Scott Walker sign legislation 
legalizing a form of medical marijuana to treat pediatric seizure 
disorders. However, Walker's signature does not mean that the 
children, whose stories moved usually stern lawmakers to tears, will 
see their medicine anytime soon.

According to Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, under the law, 
multiple federal agencies will have to give their approval - "a 
process that typically takes several years." Given Walker's rejection 
of billions in federal aid for high-speed rail and Medicaid, why is 
he now deferring to federal regulators to make critical decisions 
regarding the health of state children?

Since the governor now acknowledges that marijuana can be a safe 
treatment for even young children, he could have insisted that state 
lawmakers instead pass comprehensive legislation like AB 480/SB 363, 
the Jacki Rickert Medical Cannabis Act. If passed, the JRMCA would 
create a state medical marijuana program like those in the 21 states 
that have enacted laws that do not rely on federal approvals.

Comprehensive medical cannabis laws like the JRMCA have benefits 
beyond pain relief. Studies have found reductions in drunken driving 
fatalities and suicides in states that have legalized medical 
cannabis. Implementation of the JRMCA would create new jobs and 
businesses. Most of all, this is something with long-term majority 
support, unlike most of the 55 bills that Walker signed.

An illusion of progress may be better than no progress at all, but 
thousands of Wisconsinites of all ages still need legal access to 
medical cannabis today.

Gary Storck

co-founder, Is My Medicine Legal YET?

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