Pubdate: Sun, 15 Jan 2017
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2017 The Capital Times
Source: The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


Dear Editor: Gov. Scott Walker indicated in a recent interview that he
believes the only medical use from the cannabis plant is limited to just
one cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), and only for use for childhood seizure
disorders that don't respond to conventional treatments.

Medical marijuana isn't needed according to "Dr." Walker, because "studies
show medically there are much more viable alternatives within the health
care community."

The health care community might beg to differ, having produced more than
22,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature
referencing the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids. Marijuana has been
studied more than 85-90 percent of prescription medications.

Cannabis has shown unique benefit treating numerous medical conditions in
addition to seizure disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's,
chronic pain, cancer and ALS. While there are many drugs of mixed value
for patients, they all come with many side effects. And for ALS, available
treatments only manage symptoms and cannot slow or stop the progression
like cannabis does.

Medical pot would also be a valuable tool in fighting Wisconsin's current
opioid health emergency. Cannabis has a long-documented history as a
substitute for opiates and other drugs and as a pain reliever. Studies of
states where medical cannabis is legal found 25 percent fewer opiate
overdoses and 11 percent fewer traffic fatalities. That would translate to
hundreds of lives saved if Wisconsin joined these states.

Fifteen of the 28 states with some kind of medical cannabis law have
Republican governors. As chair of the Republican Governors Association,
perhaps Walker's colleagues could reassure him it is not the bogeyman he
seems to believe.

Gary Storck

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