Wisconsin: Let’s OK Marijuana for Medical Use

January 19, 2010 – We think Wisconsin should take the bold step of approving the use of marijuana — under a doctor’s supervision — as a pain reliever.

Dozens of people suffering from cancer and other diseases packed a legislative hearing last month to support a bill now before the Legislature that would give them access to marijuana.

Though studies are far from extensive, marijuana has proven effective in controlling pain as well as easing nausea from such treatments as chemotherapy. So far, 13 other states have approved its use as a pain and nausea reliever and treatment of glaucoma. Also, the Obama administration recently said it would not prosecute medical marijuana users in states where it is approved.

Though the American Medical Association and the Wisconsin Medical Society still oppose medical marijuana, the opposition is mostly because of a lack of thorough clinical studies of marijuana’s effectiveness in treating pain.

The AMA recently called for a federal review of the status of marijuana as a controlled substance, which should clear the way for more studies.

There is a legal form of tetra-hydro-cannabinol, or THC, the “major active ingredient” in marijuana on the market today. But Marinol is both costly and even some medical experts say that it doesn’t always work as effectively as does marijuana.

Some opponents of the bill now in the Wisconsin Legislature contend that it is a sneaky way of legalizing marijuana for everyone and fits in well with the ultra-liberal Democratic Party agenda in Madison.

Though we agree that there are those who want to make pot legal and are among the supporters of the medical marijuana bill, we don’t buy the argument that legalizing use of marijuana for medical purposes will become the “slippery slope” toward legalization of pot for all.

And Jacki Rickert of Mondovi, after whom the Wisconsin bill is named, answered opponents’ suspicions at a recent hearing on the bill in Madison.

“We are real people (and we) have real problems,” she said. The bill “isn’t any back door attempt. We all came through the front door.”

A well-crafted and narrowly focused medical marijuana bill can prevent this from happening.

This also is why we think that allowing people to grow their own marijuana will be problematic and should not be allowed in Wisconsin.

We see no problem with people getting marijuana with a doctor’s prescription and from a highly controlled and secure place, much as they now do with other controlled substances.

While more research is needed on the effectiveness of medical marijuana and its downside, state lawmakers can help to ease the pain of people already suffering by giving them the choice of using medical marijuana if they want. Source.

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