Pubdate: Mon, 12 Apr 2004
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Copyright: 2004, The Racine Journal Times
Author:  Gary Storck


In reading about Gov. Jim Doyle signing a bill designating the
cranberry the official state fruit, I found it interesting that
students at Trevor Grade School in Kenosha County drafted the
legislation. Reportedly, the kids pushed for the bill after finding
out Wisconsin did not have a state fruit.

Perhaps the students at Trevor or some other school should start
pushing for a medical marijuana bill, something else our state does
not have. I think the kids would be angry to find out that they are
being cited as a reason for keeping marijuana from Wisconsin patients,
on the grounds that legalizing it "sends a bad message to children".
But unlike cynical politicians who made sure that this session's
medical marijuana bill, like previous attempts, died in committee,
children can understand the difference between medical use and
substance abuse.

Polling has found medical marijuana has the support of over 80 percent
of Wisconsinites, probably a higher percentage than supported making
the cranberry the state fruit. Rep. Gregg Underheim, the Oshkosh
Republican who sponsored a bipartisan medical marijuana bill, only to
have it die in his own Assembly Health committee, promises he will try
again next session. But for some patients who can benefit from legal
access to medical marijuana, there will be no next session, no second
chances, because they will not live that long. Until we start electing
lawmakers who represent citizens first, not political parties or
special interests, we deserve what we get. In this election year, make
sure that candidates asking for your vote know that medical marijuana
is an urgent issue that will not wait for a next session that never
seems to come.

Gary Storck

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