Pubdate: Sun, 23 Nov 2003
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2003, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Gary Storck


Thanks for your editorial, "Court raises hopes on medical marijuana"
(Oct. 16), about the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to
reject an appeal by the U.S. Dept. of Justice of a lower court
decision prohibiting federal authorities from punishing doctors who
discuss or recommend the medical use of marijuana to patients.

The decision has now prompted a Wisconsin Republican Assembly member,
Rep. Gregg Underheim, chairman of the Assembly's Health Committee, to
propose legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in
Wisconsin. It is refreshing to see a member of the Republican Party
demonstrate that medical marijuana is not a partisan issue.

Unfortunately, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan apparently does see medical
marijuana as a partisan issue, as evidenced by his July vote against a
medical marijuana bill in Congress, and his refusal to cosponsor the
States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, HR 2233, which would
reclassify marijuana so doctors can prescribe it, and allow states
like Wisconsin to set their own policies on medical marijuana.

Ryan's lack of compassion for sick and dying Americans who can benefit
from medical marijuana cannot easily be explained away by the
congressman, without coming out looking like a hypocrite. Yet he seems
perfectly content in his hypocrisy, and apparently has no qualms about
withholding this tool from doctors and patients.

With the Wisconsin legislature about to take up medical marijuana, now
is the time for the silent majority - the over 80 percent of Americans
who support medical marijuana - to speak up by contacting state and
federal lawmakers and asking them to support medical marijuana bills.
It's time to make them put the "represent" back in representatives by
actually following the will of their constituents for a change.

Gary Storck

Director of Communications

Is My Medicine Legal YET?
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