Pubdate: Tue, 21 Jun 2005
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
Copyright: 2005 The Journal Times
Author: Gary Storck


Thanks for your wonderful editorial on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling
on medical marijuana, "High court muffs ruling on medical marijuana"
(June 7).

I hope Rep. Paul Ryan, an ardent supporter of the current federal
policy of arresting and jailing patients for using cannabis
medicinally, read it.

While the Supreme Court's punting of the medical marijuana issue to
Congress was a cop-out, that branch of government did create this
problem in the first place.

In 1970, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), wrongly
classing marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical use and a high
abuse potential, despite the fact it had been safely used by millions
of humans as medicine for millennia.

The States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, HR 2087, was introduced
May 5 and now has 36 cosponsors. But while Kind, Obey and Kleczka
voted to defund the arresting of patients, none would cosponsor the
states' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, which would reschedule
marijuana so doctors can prescribe it. Only Rep. Tammy Baldwin has
shown the courage to cosponsor this bill every time. Not even Rep.
David Obey, who helped create this mess by voting for the CSA as a
freshman congressman in 1970, is willing to show patients he's on
their side by becoming a cosponsor.

Prior versions of this bill have been bottled up in committee by the
House GOP leadership, without getting a hearing or a single vote.
George Bush has recently been saying his nominations deserve a simple
vote up or down.

Medical marijuana legislation deserves the same. Republicans like to
talk about family values and a culture of life while blindly
supporting cruel policies that criminalize some of our most
defenseless citizens for the simple act of trying to live.

Please do not wait for illness or accident to strike you or a loved
one or family member before you find out cannabis may be the only
medicine that helps. For today's patients and tomorrow's, please ask
your Congressperson to do the right thing now!

Gary Storck

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