From: "GF Storck" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "IMMLY Announce" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2007 4:52 PM
Subject: IMMLY_ANNOUNCE: US WI: Medical marijuana, bogus or legit
> Newshawk: Is My Medicine Legal YET? http://www.immly.org
> Source: Phillips Bee
> Pubdate: Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
> Author: Sue Mergen / Editor/General Manager
> MEDICAL MARIJUANA, BOGUS OR LEGIT
> Is your medicine legal?
> Jacki Rickert’s isn’t. The Wisconsin mother suffers from several incurable
> medical conditions and says the only effective treatment is marijuana.
> Rickert joined two state legislators and other medical marijuana
> supporters in late Sept. for a press conference to announce the
> introduction of new medical marijuana legislation.
> It was a symbolic day for Rickert, as it marks the 10-year anniversary of
> the “Journey-for-Justice,” a 210-mile trek across the state Rickert and an
> entourage of medical marijuana supporters made in their wheelchairs that
> ended at the Capitol.
> In honor of Rickert, Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, and Rep. Mark Pocan,
> D-Madison, named the new legislation the “Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana
> Rickert is the founder and patient coordinator of Is My Medicine Legal Yet
> (IMMLY), a nonprofit group dedicated to spreading awareness, furthering
> access to and research of marijuana for medical use.
> Century 21 – Hilgart Realty, Inc. – 200×135
> “We know it works. We know it’s not going to kill us,” Rickert said. “I
> have never had an allergic reaction to a God-given herb.”
> IMMLY efforts are meant to support those with a variety of chronic and
> fatal medical conditions. If passed, patients would have to qualify with
> the Department of Health and Family Services to receive medicinal
> Victims of cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, persistent seizures and muscle
> spasms would be eligible to qualify for medical marijuana under this
> If someone [has the] written consent of their physician or [has] obtained
> a valid registry card from the DHFS, … they would be allowed to have
> possession or be able to grow a certain amount of medicinal marijuana.
> Medicinal marijuana, the IMMLY believes, can benefit people of all ages.
> A similar version of the bill was introduced by Boyle and Pocan in 2001.
> Former Rep. Gregg Underheim, R-Oshkosh, introduced the legislation again
> in 2003 and 2005; however, it failed to progress through the Legislature
> on all three occasions.
> “We want to make sure that this is the year Wisconsin gets it,” Boyle
> said. “Twelve states have now legalized medical marijuana, and I’m sick
> and tired of the state of Wisconsin dying a most regressive death in what
> used to be progressive tradition.”
> Rep. Scott Suder (Rep.) -Abbotsford, said he opposes legalizing medical
> marijuana. “I’ve always opposed the bill because it would only serve to
> add a loophole for those who want to claim medical purposes for smoking
> pot. Many of those trying to get medical marijuana approval simply want to
> smoke pot.”
> Senate hearing turns emotional
> A state senate committee heard heated testimony last Wed., Nov. 14, at the
> Capitol both for and against medicinal marijuana.
> The Committee on Health, Human Services, Insurance and Job Creation held a
> public information hearing about medical marijuana featuring testimony
> from three "expert witnesses" followed by responses from the public.
> Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, who chairs the committee, said he was
> approached with the idea to hold the hearing "years ago" when he first
> took office, by Gary Storck, co-founder of IMMLY.
> "I’ve asked questions of a lot of doctors and … a slim majority of them
> seem to think if that’s what’s going to make the patient feel better and
> control the pain better they’re not opposed to it," Erpenbach said. "Some
> are opposed to it simply because, as they put it, there is no scientific
> The two key witnesses in favor of medicinal marijuana were David Bearman,
> a practicing physician from Santa Barbara, Calif., and Chris Fichtner from
> Illinois. Fichtner is a psychiatrist who is the former head of mental
> health for the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services.
> According to Bearman, one of the biggest problems with legalizing
> marijuana is the stigma that surrounds the substance. The federal
> government has labeled it a "schedule one substance" along with other
> drugs deemed not medically beneficial. He said he believes there is plenty
> of research that proves this wrong.
> Dr. David Bearman is one of thousands of medical doctors who supports
> legalizing pot for patients.
> The fact of the matter is that 75-to-80 percent of Americans in any poll
> done in the last 25 years has favored the legalization of medical
> The California physician who graduated from the University of Wisconsin
> says it’s next to impossible for patients suffering from debilitating pain
> to find a doctor to prescribe medical marijuana.
> Dr. Bearman testified at an informational Health Committee hearing at the
> State Capitol in support of the controversial drug. As for prescribing
> legal painkillers for patients in pain, he says, if they can find one that
> even works, there are usually too many side effects, so patients must take
> other medications to alleviate those side effects, only to create new
> ones, which need more meds. He says these people are not criminals.
> The federal government is expending precious federal dollars going around
> arresting people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and failed
> back syndrome.
> Dr. Bearman says he pre-screens each patient to make sure they have a
> well-documented, bona fide diagnosis. Opponents worry about the potential
> for abuse, saying people might use it for recreational use.
> Bearman is originally from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He graduated from the UW
> in ’63 before eventually finding his way to California.
> Addressing concerns of the committee, it was said that marijuana is not
> physically addictive, causing less dependency than coffee.
> Following Bearman’s testimony, Fichtner said there is no outlet for the
> discussion of marijuana outside the realm of substance abuse. He said
> there needs to be legal research performed to make marijuana and all the
> chemicals in it specialized to treat different types of ailments — but
> such research is not allowed right now.
> Fichtner also addressed a Yale study that linked marijuana use to
> increased psychotic brain activity. He called the findings of the study
> misleading and said the methods were flawed.
> In response to a question from the committee, Fichtner addressed the
> argument that marijuana serves as a "gateway" for users to try other, more
> dangerous drugs.
> According to studies, alcohol has proven to serve as a gateway drug at a
> much higher rate than marijuana.
> Storck and fellow IMMLY co-founder Jackie Rickert gave emotional
> testimony, during which Rickert fought to hold back the tears as she
> described her physical ailments and how marijuana has allowed her to play
> with her grandchildren.
> Donna Daniels, state coordinator for Parent Corps, a national drug
> prevention program, spoke in opposition to the idea of legalizing the
> substance for medical use.
> "Research has shown that marijuana is an addictive substance," Daniels
> said. "Making medical marijuana legal is a stepping-stone to other
> The bill authored by Boyle and Pocan, would allow patients with
> debilitating medical conditions to get marijuana, if authorized by their
> doctors. It provides a medical necessity defense for pot-related
> prosecutions and seizures, sets maximum allowable amounts, prohibits
> doctors acting in good faith from being arrested, and creates a
> marijuana-user registry.
> Editors Note: Medical marijuana is currently legal in: Maine , New
> Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada,
> Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. In Wisconsin, a poll conducted
> by Chamberlain Research Consultants showed a 75.7 percent support for
> legislation to permit patients with serious illnesses to use marijuana for
> medical purposes with their physicians’ approval.
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