Pubdate: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2001 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck


I was at the State Capitol on December 11th and I witnessed what has
become a very rare event in Wisconsin politics: Politicians working
together to do something that would benefit some of the states most
vulnerable people.

It was at a press conference called by state Reps. Mark Pocan,
D-Madison and Frank Boyle, D-Superior, who were announcing they, along
with Rep. Rick Skindrud, R-Mt. Horeb, will introduce legislation that
would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana for Wisconsin's sick and
dying. Libertarian candidate for governor Ed Thompson also stopped by
to express his support for the bill.

In a state grown weary of partisan politics and caucus scandals at the
Capitol, the sight of Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians working
together was itself medicinal.

But the press conference was only the beginning. What is needed now is
a senate co-sponsor, and the cooperation of Assembly Speaker Scott
Jensen in making sure the bill gets a fair hearing, instead of dying
in committee like Boyle's last effort in 1997.

While Jensen aide Steve Baas attempts to portray this legislation as
something with little support, the cited opinion poll showing 73% of
Americans support medical marijuana is consistent with decades of polling.

For those Wisconsinites who think that the time has come to stop
making criminals out of our sick and dying neighbors, it is time to
contact Governor McCallum, your state representatives and Jensen and
ask for their support in getting this long overdue legislation passed.

Gary Storck, director of communications, Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, Madison